In his homily for our Family and Mission Day Mass in Dalgan, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin spoke of the great affection in which the Columbans are held by the people and clergy of Ireland.
This was clearly evident by the huge numbers who came to Dalgan to celebrate the centenary of our founding.
On a glorious summer day over fifteen hundred people; family, friends, benefactors and supporters joined the Columban family in thanking God for one hundred years of missionary endeavours.
Archbishop Martin in his homily spoke of the esteem in which the Columbans are held while also addressing the challenges facing the Columbans and the Church in general.
He spoke of the loss of young people, many of whom have turned away from the Church.
Speaking to all of us gathered there he challenged us to reach out to young people with compassion and understanding.
During the liturgy the very first register of the Irish Mission League was carried to the alter by Ms Ada Coughlan who works in the Mission Office.
This register dates from 1918 and contains the names of our first Mission League supporters.
The presentation of this register was very significant and symbolic.
From the very beginning, Fr John Blowick recognised that the Society would not succeed without the financial and spiritual support of the people and clergy of Ireland.
So he established the Irish Mission League in 1918 which allowed people to be partners in our mission endeavours. We have been blessed down through the years with faithful and loyal Mission League Members.
It was wonderful to have many of the Mission League Members, Far East subscribers, benefactors and friends join us in our celebrations, because without their support our missionary work could not have been possible.
We were blessed with a lovely liturgy, a colourful multinational concert with sunshine, and above all with our families, friends and supporters.
I was truly impressed, encouraged and inspired by all who worked to make our celebrations a success. The staff in Dalgan, who worked so hard on the day, deserve a special word of thanks.
To all who joined us on the day, and to those who gave donations, many thanks, once again your generosity is inspiring.
But above all we owe our thanks to God for his goodness to us, and together let us all continue to share Gospel Joy as we begin the next one hundred years of our missionary journey.
Fr Raymond Husband
Manager, Far East Office