From the Director - Finishing his tour of duty

Columban Fr Gary WalkerThe Editor of The Far East magazine, Fr Daniel (Dan) Harding is returning to Chile where he worked previously for 21 years. This edition of The Far East is his last production as he will be taking up his appointment to Chile from September 1, 2017. It takes some time to pack up and clear the desk, have a break, say farewells to family and friends before heading back to Chile where his heart really is.

In addition to being Editor, Fr Dan has also been promoting The Far East magazine in the Archdiocese of Adelaide as well as being involved in pastoral work there.

His appointment to the Australia/New Zealand Region was for four years but he has given us an extra two years. We try to operate on a rotation scheme of Columban priests returning to their home country for four years to promote the missionary work of the Society, before returning to their missionary work overseas. One of the other reasons, is to have a missionary priest back in his own culture for a time,
to keep in contact with his origins.

Fr Dan has finished his ‘tour of duty’ and is returning to Chile. I was in Santiago recently for a significant Columban meeting in preparation for our General Assembly next year, in Taiwan. Chile is a country where I would have liked to have been on mission. We wish Fr Dan well and thank him for his hard work, his dedication to the priesthood and his enthusiasm for mission.

We welcome our new Editor, Mrs Janette Mentha who is our first lay Editor, our first woman Editor, she is breaking the mould. The other Columban magazines from Ireland and the USA also have women as their Editors. Janette’s first edition will be the July edition of The Far East.

Janette worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 20 years in the areas of liturgy, youth ministry and communications and brings a lot of experience to the role. She has worked for Columban Mission Centre now for 10 years. The preparation and induction of co-workers into working with our missionary society is something we take seriously. Janette has visited Fiji, the Philippines, Chile and Peru to broaden her understanding of Columban Mission. I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words; seeing and meeting people struggling in poverty is the best place to begin understanding aspects of Columban Mission.

We wish Dan well in his new role in Chile and welcome Janette as the new Editor.

Fr Gary Walker SSC

LISTEN TO: From the Director - Finishing his tour of duty
(Duration: 3:09mins, MP3: 1.43MB)

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