I Columban 
      Born and bred
       Among the soft roll of hills
      in the pasture land of Leinster.
       Playing, working, praying in praise
      walking the fields of creation.
       Saturated in beauty of mount and vale
      hearkening to animal call and
birdsong
       learning the human endeavour
      of ploughing the furrow and seeding
      attuned to the call of the Cosmos.
      And then,
      compelled to Bangor, to book and
bell
       combining the rigour of monastic life
       with zeal for Mission.
       Burdened with the task of sharing
       the life of Life
       the greatest freedom of knowingly
believing
      in the Greatest Love
      the being of Being
      driven by the flame of Life within
      pulsating, beckoning, urging me out
      to journey to unknown Europe
      led by the fire of Him
      Who called me to them.
 
      Planks of wood latched and tarred
      sea-worthy, buffetted by wind
      carrying monks with Word of God
      echoing off mountains
      Spirit -filled with Divine fire
       Igniting hearts and souls
      spreading throughout a continent.
       Spreading over time to a world
      awakening and rejoicing in Divine
Being.
       The pounding of hearts crying
       ‘There is a God
       Jesus is the Way’
       The Holy Spirit burning within
      Caritas Christi urget nos.
   
     Community in monasteries
      alone among the rocks
      praying, praying and travelling
       impelled by force from within
      onward and forward
       o’er land and mountain
      peace and rest in mystic solitude.
       Fontaine and Annegray
       Luxeuil and Bobbio
       light up a darkened continent.
       Together around the Table of the
Lord
       Eager to wash each other’s feet.
 
      With single vision
      beckoning and urging us on
       o’er mountain ranges to the hills of
Rome.
       Highlands and lowlands
      stopping and staying and moving on
       founding monasteries and dwelling
in caves.
       Animals and birds welcoming
      people looking and seeing
      following to consecration.
       Monastery walls resounding with
Divine Praise
       Morning Prayer waking the dawn
       Night Prayer and well earned rest.
       Laudate Dominum omnis terra.
 
      Strife and struggle overcome
      in the daily living of fraternity
       sustained by the spiritual treasures
      of an ancient race.
       Rest and Peace and a little space to
pray
      sought out for comfort in the last
days
      among the falling leaves of
November
       Slumbering Bobbio
      gathered the White Dove – an
Colm Ban
       back to the earth from which he had
come.
       I,
      you,
      Columban,
      Christi simus non nostri.

 

-Poem by Sr. Abbie Sullivan,SSC

A teacher and personal counsellor by profession, Sr. Abbie has taught in Ireland and been missioned in Hong Kong, Croatia and London. 

She now works in Dublin as a counsellor in a boys secondary school and part-time in the Capuchin Day Centre for homeless people.