A group of Columban supporters (33 pilgrims from Australia, 3 from New Zealand, 1 from Korea and 1 from Taiwan) came to Ireland on a first pilgrimage, ‘In the Footsteps of St Columban’, to commemorate the 1400th Anniversary of St Columban’s death.
Magheramore, the motherhouse of the Missionary Sisters of St. Columban was one of the places that they have visited during this pilgrimage.
Sr. Rose Gallagher, the Community Leader in Magheramore gave a warm welcome before the Mass:
“On behalf of the sisters here in Magheramore, it is my great joy to welcome you all.
and a special warm welcome to you, our Columban Pilgrims, lay missionaries and Columban priest friends.
We are delighted to have you with us and to know again, the blessing of a shared Charism at the service of our needy world today.
Spending this short time with us, as part of your pilgrim journey, prompts us to pray a blessing
for you… in St. Columban’s own words:
That your lamp may feel the kindling touch and know no quenching..
burning for you yourself and giving light to others. Amen.”
The Mass was presided by Fr. Gary Walker, the Regional director of St. Columbans mission society for Australia and New Zealand. Sr. Ann Gray gave an inspiring reflection on the history of the Columban Sisters followed by a short video presentation on the life and missionary journey of the Columban Sisters. The visit ended with an afternoon tea which was shared by both the pilgrims and the Sisters in Magheramore community.
|Columban Sisters and the Pilgrims|
Fr. Tommy Murphy, a former Columban Superior General, who has studied the life and works of St Columban had already led the pilgrims in an understanding of St Columban’s life and times, his challenges and trials, his powerful mind and personality. He had also introduced them to Celtic spirituality as they visit monastic sites in Ireland.
It is striking to see that eventhough St Columban died 1400 years ago yet his life still exerts an influence in Europe, where many groups called “Friends of St Columban” keep his memory alive.