China is where it all began one hundred years ago.  It was in 1912 that Edward Galvin, co-founder of the Columbans, was first called to life as a missionary in China.  Then, he had no thoughts of starting a new Missionary Society, but his passion and energy to serve the people of China was infectious and in 1918 the Maynooth Mission to China was born.

Today, China is a very different country to the one first visited by Galvin.  The early Columbans walked side by side with the Chinese at a time of political turmoil and natural disasters, which culminated in the rise to political power of a Communist regime that exists to this day.  Bishop Galvin, as he had become, was expelled from China by the Communists in 1952, but the Columbans never forgot it’s people.

Today, there are 11 Columbans that make up the China Mission Unit, led by Regional Director Fr Dan Troy.  They provide support to the Catholic community and the development of the Church, through giving retreats and spiritual direction, supporting internal migrants and their families, and working collaboratively with other organisations to provide opportunities for young Chinese students to study abroad (China Formation Unit) and to provide English teachers for schools (AIETCE).  The Columbans are also founding members and advocates of the Cultural Exchange with China, which aims to broaden awareness and understanding of China, its culture and its people.

At the recent General Assembly of the Columbans, mission among the Chinese was highlighted as a major priority for the Society over the coming years.

“The emergence of China as a world power and our founding charism challenges us to engage with its reality” (General Assembly of the Columban Missionary Society, 2012)

Responding to the Call to Mission

The fruits of Columban mission in China are many, but they have reached new heights in recent years as young men have come forward to explore their vocation to become a missionary.

Read about the recent ordination of Fr. Paul Zhang and below are two articles by candidates for the priesthood JohnWang Zongshe and Joseph Li Jiangang, who are in the early stages of their discernment.  Please pray for them all.

There Must Be Room for All in the Church by Joseph Li Jiangang

Life Giving Connections by John Wang Zongshe


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