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Nov 21st
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Home About Us History Timeline of the History of the Society

Timeline of the History of the Society

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This timeline was drawn up by Dr Neil Collins SSC who is documenting the history of the society.



Edward J. Galvin ordained priest in Maynooth for Cork. Spent 3 years on loan to Brooklyn.


John M. Fraser, Canadian missionary in China, visits Italy, Ireland, & US looking for priests.
He spoke in Maynooth where John Blowick, Joseph O’Leary, Edward J. McCarthy & James Conway heard him.


Galvin met Fraser in Brooklyn and went with him to Zhejiang (Chekiang), China. Writes many letters home looking for priests to join him.


Joseph O’Leary and Pat O’Reilly join Galvin.


O’Leary and O’Reilly (and E. J. McCarthy in Ireland) persuade Galvin to return to Ireland to set up a Chinese mission college. He arrives in August, and meets John Blowick. Together they approach the Irish bishops at their meeting in Maynooth on 10 October and get permission to collect money and found a mission college for China.













Galvin & Blowick visit Rome. Monsignor Camillus Laurenti instructs them to found a college and draw up Constitutions for a society. They lease Dalgan Park, Shrule, Co. Mayo, in December. Minutes of the Council of Directors begin.
United States of America: Galvin and Matt Dolan leave Ireland for US 20 November.


 Ireland: College opens 29 January. The Far East first appears in January, with John Henaghan as editor.
 US: A house of the society established in Omaha, Nebraska. US edition of Far East in May.


  Congress of the Society 8 June. John Blowick Superior of the society.
E. J. McCarthy to the US.


 Australia: Edward Maguire and James Galvin sail to Australia. Far East appears October.


 Australia: House of society opened in Melbourne, 5 December.


 Ireland: Council decided to call the society St. Columban’s Chinese Mission Society.


 Constitutions approved by the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.
















 China: First batch leaves for Hanyang.


 Irish Christian Brothers arrive December.


 Loretto Sisters arrive 19 October.


 Ireland: First General Chapter. Michael O’Dwyer elected Superior General.
 Missionary Sisters of St. Columban erected 10 September.


 Columbans Sisters leave for Hanyang.

 China: Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Revolutionary Army march north from Canton. Hanyang captured September.


 China: Galvin ordained Vicar Apostolic of Hanyang 6 November.


 China: Columbans take over Kienchang (Nancheng).


 Timothy Leonard killed by communists 17 July.

 Philippines: Patrick Kelly & Michael Cuddigan take over Malate parish, Manila in May



 China: Cornelius Tierney killed 28 February.

 China: Central China Flood engulfs Hanyang. 12 million refugees.

 Ireland: Second General Chapter



 Korea: Ten Columbans arrive in Taegu, destined for Cholla Nam Do.



 Philippines: Edward J. McCarthy, the beginning of Student Catholic Action.


 Burma: Eight Columbans arrive in Rangoon in the autumn, on way to Bhamo.


 China: Marco Polo Bridge Incident, the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War.

 Joseph Hogan founds the first Praesidium of Legion of Mary in China 31 Jan.

 Bishop Galvin sends 2 Hanyang students, Peter Zhang & Joseph Seng, to Rome


 Philippines: Columbans to Misamis, Mindanao


 Korea: Second mission founded, led by Thomas Quinlan.

 Philippines: Columban Sisters to Lingayen.


 Pearl Harbor, December, World War II reaches the Pacific.


 Korea: Priests interned.


 Philippines: Japanese kill Frank Douglas 27 July.


 France: Patrick McMahon killed in Normandy.


 Philippines: Japanese kill Patrick Kelly, John Henaghan, Joseph Monaghan, Peter Fallon.

 rican shell kills John Lalor.


 China: Jeremiah Pigott opens third mission in China. Huchow. All expelled by 1953.


 Third General Chapter. Jeremiah Dennehy elected Superior General.


 Japan: James Doyle and Joseph O’Brien arrive in Tokyo 6 January to begin mission.


 China: Communists capture Wuhan May. People’s Republic of China declared 1 October


 Philippines: Tom Flynn killed by Huks.


 Korea: Korean War.

 Deaths: Pat Brennan, Tom Cusack, Jack O’Brien, Tony Collier, James Maginn, Patrick Reilly, Francis Canavan


  Galvin expelled September.

 Bishop Patrick Cleary expelled from Nancheng in December.

 Fourth General Chapter: Timothy Connolly elected Superior General.

 Peru: Martin Forde arrived in January. Parish of Bl. Martin de Porres.

 Chile: James Loughran reached Santiago, January. Parish of San Andres.

 Fiji: Charlie O’Mahoney and Rod Hoult reach Suva.


 Hugh Sands, last Columban in Hanyang, expelled January.

 Luke and Seamus O’Reilly, last Columbans in Nancheng, expelled.


 Korea: P.J. McGlinchey starts 4H Clubs, early social action.


 Ireland: Some students sent to Templeogue to study in UCD.


 Fifth General Chapter: James Kielt elected Superior General.


 Vatican II


 Burma: John Walsh killed.


 Formation: Meeting of seminary staffs in Bristol.


 Latin America: General Conference of the Latin American Bishops at Medellin, 24 August to 6 September.
 Liberation Theology.
 Peru: Polarization.


 Sixth General Chapter: Richard Steinhilber elected Superior General.
 Philippines: Martin Dempsey killed.
 Chile: Salvador Allende Gossens, a Marxist, elected president.


 Chile: Coup: General Jose Ramon Pinochet Ugarte president.


 Seventh General Chapter (Baguio), Tony O’Brien elected. Decision to open new missions.


 Formation: Overseas Training Program (O.T.P.) begins.

 Pakistan Mission Unit opens September.

 Taiwan Mission Unit opens.


 Burma: James Foley, James Cloonan and John J. O’Sullivan, the last 3 Columbans in Burma withdrew.

 Latin America: Latin American bishops meet at Puebla.


 Fiji: Arthur Tierney goes to Vanuatu.


 Eighth General Chapter (Lima): Columban Mission Today (CMT). Bernard Cleary elected Superior General.

 New policies: Columban Candidates from Local Churches, Lay Mission.


 Peru: Joan Sawyer killed.


 Philippines: Trial of the Negros Nine: Niall O’Brien etc.


 Brasil Mission Unit opens. 

 Japan: James Donohue killed.


 Jamaica Mission Unit.

 Belize Mission Unit.


 Britain becomes a separate region.

 Ninth General Assembly (Pusan): Becoming More Missionary. Nicholas Murray elected.


 Tenth General Assembly (Santiago). Nicholas Murray re-elected.

 Jamaica: Vinny Power killed.


 Eleventh General Assembly (Sydney). Brendan O’Sullivan elected.


 Philippines: Rufus Halley killed.


 Twelfth General Assembly (Dalgan). Tommy Murphy elected.


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