By Fr Donal Halliden MSSC
On a late summer day in August 1940, while driving my mother to town, my eldest brother, William, already an ordained Columban, suddenly said, “If Donal wants to go to Dalgan he might as well go this year.” Dalgan was the major seminary of the Columbans in Ireland. I was still in high school but I had passed the matriculation examination of the National University of Ireland and on this basis I would be accepted in Dalgan.
Five Vocations in a Family
If my mother was surprised, she did not show it but I do remember her saying, “Anyone who wants to serve the Church cannot be selfish.” My father still had to be consulted and he readily gave his consent even though I was the fourth of his five sons wishing to enter the priesthood, three of us as Columbans and the fourth as a secular for our diocese. A fifth vocation was to come to the family later when our younger sister, Maureen, entered the local convent of the Sisters of Mercy.