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The Columban Sisters were founded in Ireland in 1924.
They came into existence in response to a call to help the people of China, especially the women and children. This call was heard by many women among them Frances Moloney, a young widow searching for a way of life that would make a difference to the most needy.
A few years previously Fr John Blowick, a professor at the National Seminary in Maynooth had joined the newly founded Maynooth Mission to China (known today as the Columban Missionary Society). He was to play a pivotol role in the founding of the Columban Missionary Sisters
On 1st. February 1922, the first group of women came together in a farmhouse in Cahiracon, beside the River Shannon in Co Clare,Ireland, to begin their training as missionary Sisters. Thus began the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Columban. Among that pioneering group were: Frances Moloney, Nora Collins, Brigid McSweeney, Mary McKey, Elizabeth Walsh all from Ireland and Frances Mapleback who had travelled all the way from Australia to join the newly founded congregation. Soon others, fired by the vision, joined the community and four years later a group was ready for the long journey that would take them to China.