By Jack Pamine
Jack Pamine, originally from Bohol, lives in Bacolod City and worked with the Columbans from 1993 until 2010. Here he writes about Columban priests he has known and worked with.
Who are the Columbans? That was the lingering question I had. Later, I understood that it is hard to find the collective identity of the group but that its strength is found in each member's spirituality and charism. How each tries to live his missionary life is really amazing. What you find is individual Columbans, each trying to live his vocation to the fullest. The Society of St Columban is not meant to be a religious community but a group of priests committed to working overseas on mission, building up the local Church.
To work for and with the Columbans wasn’t an easy journey because of the strong individuality of each one. But I found them life-affirming of the uniqueness of each person. In the early part of my work, I found it absurd to wake up at midnight to make a long bus trip, spend less than an hour with a family and run back to the terminal to catch the last bus back to Bacolod.