sinnottSei uomini armati hanno rapito il padre irlandese Michael Sinnott (78). I sei banditi, alle 7 circa del pomeriggio, sono entrati nella casa dei padri Colombani nella città di Pagadian e trascinato Sinnott in un furgone davanti a testimoni sconvolti. Il furgone è stato trovato abbandonato e bruciato poco lontano dalla casa. I rapitori si sono poi diretti verso il mare e hanno fatto salire Sinnott a bordo di una imbarcazione a motore che poi si è diretta verso Tukuran e le coste di lanao del Sur.

La congregazione di padre Sinnott, la Società Missionaria di St. Columban, ha confermato la sua abduzione, avvenuta mentre stava passeggiando nel giardino della sua residenza. I confratelli hanno lanciato un appello per preghiere e per il suo immediato rilascio. Sinnott ha lavorato nelle Filippine dal 1957-66 è poi ritornato nel 1976 e dal 1998 era coinvolto nel programma in una scuola per bambini handicappati in Pagadian City da lui stesso fondata.

Il 28 agosto 2002, un confratello di Sinnott, padre Rufus Halley (57) , parroco della parrocchia Nostra Signora della Pace fu ucciso in Malabang, Lanao del Sur, per aver reagito ad un gruppo di armati che volevano rapirlo. Qualche anno prima il 27 ottobre del 1997 , un altro padre Colombano, Desmond Hartford fu rapito in Marawi City.

(Ricordiamo anche che nell Ottobre 2004 padre Vincenzo Bruno, PIME, dovette lasciare la parrocchia in Lantian, Diocesi di Pagadian, perchè minacciato di rapimento)

I padri Colombani sono nelle Filippine dal 1929.

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Heavily armed men barged into a Catholic convent and kidnapped a 78-year old Irish priest Michael Sinnott. At 7 pm the six gunmen entered the Columban House in Pagadian city, Zamboanga del Sur province, and dragged Michael Sinnott into a van in front of his horrified aides, they could not do anything because the abductors had powerful weapons. The van was later found abandoned and burned. The kidnappers then took the priest away by sea on board a motor boat toward Tukuran, lanao del Sur.
Sinnott’s group, the Missionary Society of St. Columban, confirmed his abduction, saying he was taking an evening stroll in the convent’s garden when he was taken by the gunmen. The group appealed for prayers for his safe recovery. Sinnott has worked in the Philippines for decades. The group said he was first assigned in the southern Philippines between 1957-66, then returned in 1976. Since 1998 he has been involved with The Centre and School for Special Children which he established.

On October 27, 1997, Irish priest Desmond Hartford, then the acting bishop of the Prelature of Marawi, was abducted in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte.
On August 28, 2002, Irish Columban Father Rufus Halley (57) was shot dead in Malabang, Lanao del Sur as he fought off abductors.

(in october 2004 father Vincent Bruno, PIME, had to leave the parish in Lantian, Diocese of Pagadian, because under treath of kidnapping)

The Missionary Society of St. Columban and the Congregation of the Missionary Sister of St Columban were born from the vision of two young priests Edward Galvin and John Blowick whom Providence brought together in the years between 1916 and 1920.
The first Columbans went to China, then in the Philippines [1929], Korea [1933], Burma [1936], and Japan [1948]. The Society responded to the urgent call of Latin America [1951] and Columbans went to the poor in the new urban settlements in Peru and Chile. The Society also responded to the missionary needs of the Church in Fiji. Still more recently we have gone to Pakistan, Taiwan, Brazil, Jamaica and Belize. Due to diminishing resources, the Society has since withdrawn its commitment to Belize, Jamaica and Brazil. There are presently over 600 Columban missionaries in the Society.

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