A BRUFF priest has been appointed to lead the Columban Missionaries in Ireland.
Fr Pat Raleigh, from Grange, is the regional director of the international missionary society for the next three years.
The former CBS Sexton Street pupil joined the Columban Missionaries in 1961.
His first assignment was to the Philippines, where he worked for nine years. He returned to Ireland in 1977 and took up adult and mission education until 1982. Fr Raleigh was then sent to a new mission the society had started in Pakistan.
It was very different to the Philippines because it was almost 100 per cent Muslim.
Fr Raleigh described his 11 years in Pakistan as a “great experience”.
At times he was working in very difficult circumstances in an effort to be a bridge builder between the Christian and Muslim communities.
Over the past seventeen or eighteen years he has been involved in various aspects of the Columban Mission in Ireland.
He has especially focused on the campaign to bring about the cancellation of debt for people living in the developing countries. Fr Raleigh has also filled the role of liaison officer for the society with Mission Cara over the past six years as well as being the justice and peace co-ordinator for the Columban Society in Ireland.
Fr Raleigh will have as part of his team Fr Padraig O’Donovan, a native of Tipperary.
A proud Limerick man, Fr Raleigh holds the hurling fortunes of his native county close to his heart and follows their progress despite all his global travel.
The Columban Missionaries work with poor and exploited people, seek justice and dignity for those denied their rights, develop faith communities in the local church, respect and care for the earth and the environment.