Fr Cyril Praises “enriching” Columban Way of Life

Oct 13, 2023

Retired editor of the Far East, Fr Cyril Lovett, was recently interviewed by SouthEast Radio’s ‘Morning Mix’ programme about the Columbans, life as a missionary, and the Far East magazine.

Asked about his decision to become a Columban missionary, Fr Cyril told the presenter, “I can’t think of any other way of life that would be so enriching.”

He said he would encourage any young person who is interested in serving people and serving the poor to consider missionary priesthood.

Fr Cyril Lovett SSC

“We try to be as close to the poor as possible. There is something really worthwhile here and it would give you a very meaningful life,” Fr Cyril, who served on mission in the Philippines, Brazil and the US, explained.

Fr Cyril, who this year marked his Diamond Jubilee of ordination (60 years), recalled the role the Far East played in inspiriting his vocation in the late 1950s.

“I remember coming across a copy of the Far East during one of our retreats in St Colman’s in Fermoy where I was studying; I remember reading that in the Philippines there was 20,000 people for one priest. I said to myself, ‘you might make a difference if you were in a place like that.’ That is what led me to St Columban’s and I’ve never regretted it.”

The Far East magazine has now been published for 105 years. It was founded in 1918, the year the Missionary Society of St Columban was formally established.

Fr Cyril, who was editor from 2003 until 2016, said he has always been proud of the Far East magazine because it brings to readers the stories of the peoples among whom the Columbans work.

“One of my joys also is that the Columbans have always worked among the poorest people. People who are at the bottom of the pile. When we go into a country we purposely choose to work among these people. One of my joys is that we are able to get close to the people and their concerns.”

“The stories that are reported in the Far East bring a flavour of the peoples among whom we work – their extraordinary courage and heroism as they cope with enormous problems and difficulties.”

Listen to the full interview here:

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