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Last June John Wang Zongshe and Joseph Li Jiangang came to Manila as the first candidates from the People’s Republic of China to join the Columbans. The Columbans were originally known in Ireland as the Maynooth Mission to China when the Irish bishops gave their approval on 10 October 1916 to a new mission of the Irish Church to China. The Society of St Columban was formally approved on 29 June 1918, the feast of Sts Peter and Paul.
John and Joseph have just finished a year of English studies in Manila and in June start their Spiritual Formation year in Cubao, QC, with four Filipinos, Elbert Balbastro, from Oton, Iloilo, Crisanto Ecaldre from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Ericson Helasque from Agusan, Cagayan de Oro City and Jerry Lohera from Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental.
Two more students from China will also arrive in June, Peter Dong Lichun and Augustine Wang Pengyu. They will study English during their first year here.
L to R: Joseph, John, Fr Gore and Emmanuel
John and Joseph were on an exposure program in the Diocese of Kabankalan under the guidance of Fr Brian Gore for three weeks over the Holy Week – Easter period and spent a couple of days at the Misyon editorial office in Bacolod City before returning to Manila. Emmanuel B. Trocino, a Columban seminarian from Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, was with them.