bobbio02The Columban Sisters Annual Summer Event 2013 took place on two sunny days in July past, when a large gathering of Columban Sisters, many on home vacation  from various mission countries, met in the Bobbio Retreat Centre, Magheramore, Wicklow, Ireland (Photo to left). A colourful bunch of women on these warm days. Meeting and greeting – you know how convivial women can be at times like this. But then it was down to business.

Our guest speaker was Baroness Nuala O’Loan, well known and admired in this country and abroad for her work on the issues of justice, human rights, reconciliation and peace. Sr Anne Carbon (Columban Sisters Central Team) welcomed Baroness Nuala and introduced her by detailing various highlights of her career. The mini-biography is available here.

Picture5 Liberian Women protest for Peace 2003JOURNEY to PEACE was the thrust of the morning.  The Baroness gave us a well informed and well presented address on the above mentioned topics which are so very much part of her brief over the past and recent years.  With gripping illustrations from her own life she shared her deep convictions, resonating with the experience of many of those present. Dignified and gentle in manner, she was very obviously a woman of faith, who never lost hope even when her own life and that of her family had been in danger. Our group feedback reflected the inspiration and challenge she communicated. Nuala commented that she found us a most remarkable group – so tuned in to the topics she presented.  

(Photo above) Liberian Women, with whom Nuala O’Loan has worked, organize for PEACE. The poster proclaims their deep yearning: WOMEN ARE CRYING FOR PEACE

 The subsequent inputs came from across the Columban Sisters Mission World…..

myitktruck_journeya tour of the missions including Peru, Chile, Myanmar, Hong Kong, South Korea and Pakistan  by sisters back from these areas. Marvellous! Were we buzzing! – and so grateful to God for our Columban calling. Needless to say the conversations spilled over into supper and later, giving us joy and delight as the sun went down.

The Sisters in our various missions and the people among whom we work, were all remembered in our simple liturgies and our prayer as the Spirit continues to energize us in our missionary charism.

hk_shekoretreat house2Our own Nuala (Raleigh), as ever, had the Bobbio Centre venue sparkling. And the Central Team was at hand at all the sessions – enriched, we feel sure, like the rest of us. Ita McElwain, the Magheramore community coordinator facilitated all of us in many ways. There was so much to be grateful for in the two precious days.     

And God’s beautiful sun continued to shine all the time. So, thanks to Him and to all our sisters for these precious days!   

Photos:  (Above)A journey to an outlying village in Myanmar and  (left) a time of quiet prayer in the Columban Sisters’ Retreat House, Shek O, Hong Kong.

JOURNEYING to PEACE – a more detailed outline of Baroness Nuala’s presentation will be posted later. 


Categories 2013 News