Photos: Fr Warren Kinne SSC.
I was joking with someone recently - echoing the thought of St Paul - that if there is no resurrection we are the most unfortunate of men. But leaving faith aside, were that even possible, my life has been overwhelmingly a positive experience. I wouldn’t claim that I was day in and day out living good news for everyone I have come in contact with. May God forgive me my missing the mark! But my 50 years as an ordained missionary have been fruitful ones for me as a person, ever being challenged to grow up. I hope too that I helped others along the way.
Life is a journey and Columbans certainly travel far and wide. Indeed at times, I wished that the hike on foot through the mud in the barrios of Baganian Peninsula, the Philippines, had been less arduous. But the journey is more one of inward growth and this in a two steps forward and one step backwards sort of a way. Hopefully, in this ripening period of my life, the growth in wisdom and grace will speed up, even as I am content to remain closer to home.
One is ordained to be the leader of a Christian community but most of my life has been more of a missionary, away from a parish, and for a long period of time - 20 years in China - away from regular contact with other Columbans. During much of my life of ministry, the missionary bit was to the fore and the ordained to be a leader of a Christian community was in the background. Perhaps that is how it should be for a Columban. I guess I am an imperfect sign of something counter-cultural and perhaps akin to a 50 year old married couple in today’s world. Not so common. Thank you, everyone, who journeyed with me on the Way.
Columban Fr Warren Kinne lives and works on the Gold Coast.
Listen to "Insights into 50 years of priesthood"
- Read more from The Far East, July 2020