Columbans hold worldwide day of prayer for kidnapped missionary

The Columbans are holding a worldwide day of prayer for the release of Fr Michael Sinnott  who was kidnapped on 11 October.

“Wherever they are in the world, all the missionaries of our congregation are praying today for the liberation of our confrere Father Michael Sinnott; they are joined by all friends and people of good will, no matter of their nationality or religion”, Father Patrick O’Donoghue, regional director of the Society of St Columban  told the Missionary News Service over the phone the house in Pagadian in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga, where Fr Sinnott was headed at the time of his kidnapping.

“Praying and waiting, we confide in the compassion of his captors and hope to see Fr Sinnott free”, added Fr O’Donoghue, confirming that no negotiations are underway at the moment between the Columbans and kidnappers of the  78 year old Irish missionary.

Members of the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), the rebel movement engaged in peace talks with the government are actively participating in the search for him.

Fr O’Donoghue reiterated the growing concern for the health of Fr Michael,  who recently underwent surgery: “Reports are circulating on attempts to provide him his medicine: I hope that these attempts have succeeded”.

Fr  Michael, was seized by six gunmen in the centre of the city while walking alone just a dozen metres from the entrance of the House of the Columban Fathers in Pagadian. Originally from Barntown in the Wexford County, Fr Michael was ordained priest in 1954 and was assigned to Mindanao in 1957 after completing his studies in Rome. He served in Mindanao until 1966 and after spending a period of ten years in Ireland he returned to the Philippines in 1976.