‘A celebration of the laity’s participation
in the mission of the Missionary Sisters of St. Columban’

by Sister Ita Hannway


The annual visit of our Sale of Work volunteers to Magheramore on Saturday, May 22 was marked by a deviation from the usual post-evening-meal custom of visitors having time to chat with one another and with the Sisters before leaving the dining room. This year the hundred or more women who had come from different parts of the country were invited to return to the chapel after their meal. When all had assembled once more Sister Ann Ryan introduced and presented the new book by Ita Hannaway which had come from the printers just in time for the day.

The book, MISSIONARIES HAND~IN~HAND, is ‘A celebration of the laity’s participation in the mission of the Missionary Sisters of St. Columban’. It traces the story of the involvement of the laity of many countries with the Columban Sisters in the development of the Congregation since its inception in 1922, and tells of how this involvement continues to be a source of practical assistance and encouragement at the present time in our history.

The presentation of the book took place within a simple ceremony of song and prayer during which Sister Ann spoke of the importance of the laity in the mission of the Church and of their vital role in keeping alive the spirit of mission in their local communities. Finally, she assured those present of the Columban Sisters’ unfailing appreciation of the responsibilities which the laity undertake as they continue to accompany the Congregation’s mission today.

When books had been distributed and tributes paid to the place of the laity in the beginnings of each new mission of the Congregation since 1926, Sister Ita, author, spoke of how a dream she had kept in her heart for many years had at last come true with the release of the new book. A joyful Magnificat brought a most memorable and joyful day to a close.


The books ready before the altar for distribution after the short but very significant ceremony to follow.

For photos of the ceremony click here

Categories 2010