Fr. Cathal Coulter MSSC

The First Night Prayer

By Fr. Cathal Coulter MSSC

The Columban Missionaries were founded nearly one hundred years ago.  Well, not quite.  The co-founder, John Blowick, later recalled the first night the young students – offering their life for the mission to China – gathered together for prayer and how they read a passage from the Gospel which would be the guiding light of all missionaries.

Eighty-four winters have passed since the first group of young Columbans gathered for evening prayer in the old Dalgan, the first Columban home. There was no electricity, no heat. Seven priests and eighteen students sat a few chairs, some packing cases and boxes in a room lit by candles and oil lamps. In later years, John Blowick, the founder, would recall how he looked around and could see the whole Society, all twenty-five of them, all young men, all under fifty.