Founded in Ireland

The Missionary Society of St Columban was founded in Ireland by Fr. Edward Galvin and Fr. John Blowick for missionary work in China. The Society takes its name from St Columban, Ireland’s sixth century missionary to Europe, who established monasteries in what is now France, Germany and Italy. He died in Bobbio, northern Italy, in 615.

The Columbans in Ireland are involved in a number of projects including the Far East magazine, migrants rights, interfaith dialogue, AITECE – teaching English in China, and Justice Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC), as well as supporting Columban projects overseas through the Irish Mission League.  

Columban Center

Columban Centenary

Founders Bishop Edward Galvin and Fr. John Blowick

Columban Founders

Columban co-founders Bishop Edward Galvin and Fr. John Blowick met with Irish bishops on October 17, 1917, at Maynooth College and got the go-ahead to start a mission to China. The formation of the Maynooth Mission to China would become the Missionary Society of St. Columban.

Columban Mission


Years of mission to the world




Generations of people lifted to dignity