Excerpt from The Society of St. Columban: A Historical Sketch
Page four sight saddened him, as it has saddened many another heart before and since. He saw how the missionaries of France were recalled from their missions to become soldiers. He knew that many of them would never return. And as he saw the utter spiritual helplessness of China with all its cruel fearsome superstitions, his thoughts turned to other lands where the Faith was strong and fervent and where men, many of them at least, loved God; to Ireland, where he was born, and to America, where he had lived and worked. In these countries there was a strong, virile Faith. Ireland had a missionary history unparalleled; in America the idea of foreign mis sions had scarcely begun to stir abroad, but Father Galvin had vision enough to grasp its possibilities.
He began his campaign. He wrote for the Irish Catholic and he wrote for the students of Maynooth. His letters were read and published there by a friend whose interest was awakening. If he failed to receive a ready response, he got at least a sympathetic hearing. He wrote constantly for such American papers as The Lamp (graymoor) and the Brooklyn Tah let. Two Irish priests joined him in 1915 and their sphere of inﬂuence spread to Australia. More than one Australian priest now attributes his missionary vocation to articles that appeared in the Austral Light at that period. Something was taking shape. Neither Father Galvin nor his. Com rades could guess then what the future would bring, and as a matter of fact it far surpassed their wildest dreams. But the ground was being pre pared, and in 1916 Father Galvin himself appeared on. The scene. In the summer of that year he was in America, in the autumn he was in Ireland.
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