Columban Sisters in South Korea, 1955


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  When the first Columban Sisters came to Korea in 1955 the country was devastated by war and the people were impoverished. The sick poor had no means of receiving medical care. Seeing the need for medical facilities, the setting up and running of a hospital, a nursing school and clinics became the focus of our mission. The healing ministry to the sick poor, which was made possible because of the generosity of our benefactors, gave witness to gospel values and was a means of bringing Good News. It provided a great service for the people at the time but with economic prosperity Korea’s medical facilities expanded and the numbers of local medical personnel increased. For us missionaries, this led us to look for new ways to care for life in creative, inclusive and relational ways. This meant
  • …walking in solidarity with the poor by being sensitive to justice and peace issues, recognizing the equality and dignity of women and reaching out through programs and support for those exploited by the entertainment industry,
  • … care of the earth, providing quality care for the aged, hospice patients and people living with HIV Aids
  • …working for a more inclusive society through educational rehabilitation and social integration programmes for people with Learning Difficulties.
Today our ways of being in mission are also shaped by various dialogues – with culture, religions, with the poor and suffering and people who are being exploited. Another important aspect of our mission today is that while we are small in number we witness to the call of mission in the Church. This is evident in the fact that Columban Korean Missionaries are numbered among Korean missionaries through-out the world, in a fledgling mission sending Church. In Korea, the vast majority of people belong to the Buddhist faith. While Catholics number only about 10.9% of the population, there is no shortage of vocations.  The Columban Sisters are happy to count among their members many Korean women serving in our various missions.  

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