From the Editor

Janette Mentha

For the past two weeks, I have spent many hours looking through the archived copies of The Far East magazine in preparation for the 100th anniversary since it was launched in October 1920. What a joy it was to look through the many years of the selfless work of Columban priests, lay missionaries, sisters and others who gave up their time to travel to other countries as volunteers.

I came across advertisements that included the Advocate, a publication of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Saint Christopher medals, Preservene soap and many others. Mickie Daly‘s diaries took much of my time as I found myself hooked into his witty accounts of his daily activities and his atroshus spelling. 

This issue begins with a copy of page one from the first issue of The Far East. Today we would consider it as an inside page. More stylised covers developed over the years. On the facing page, you will see a range of Columban personnel, historical Columban events and more. We feature an interview with New Zealand born, Sr Sue Cosgrove, who has been an avid reader of The Far East for 65 years. 

From New Zealand, Columban Fr Pat O’Shea writes a reflection on the controversy of Mickie Daly. This is a fascinating read that demonstrates the impact Mickie Daly had on his readership. From Queensland, Mr Gilbert Alison, another avid reader of The Far East, tells us about his long association with the Columbans. 

Columban Fr Jim Mulroney writes about the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Columbans in Hanyang, China. The strong link between Columbans and the people of China was demonstrated in 2018 when a group of pilgrims from Australia and New Zealand were welcomed into the parish of Holy Trinity in Xiantao where a recent Mass was celebrated to mark the anniversary. 

From Myanmar, Columban Fr Eamon Sheridan tells us about the lack of support for women who are suffering from drug addiction. 

In Rome, Pope Francis sends his message for World Mission Day in October. He has asked us to remember that during the pandemic we are all in the same boat, all of us frail and disorientated. He asks us to remember that we need to row together.

In his column Columban Fr Trevor Trotter challenges us to think about the role of the Holy Trinity and how the Society was called into being by the Trinity. 

Migrant workers in Taiwan continue to struggle with hardship and injustice. Columban Lay Missionary Joan Yap tells the sad story of a father and son whose lives were tragically changed by the greed of others.

Parishioners from a poor parish in Chile relate how happy they are to meet new friends while distributing food parcels to those in need. 

On a sad note, we hear from Columban Frs John Hegerty and Ed O’Connell on the life of recently deceased Fr Paul Prendergast. From New Zealand and better known as 'Prendy', Fr Paul will be sadly missed. May he rest in peace.

We give thanks that The Far East magazine has reached its centenary and thank you, our Columban benefactors, for your extraordinary support that has ensured its longevity. 

Let us pray that we can continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ into the future.

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Janette Mentha singature

Janette Mentha

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