18 October 2009

CBCP News items on kidnapping of Father Michael Sinnott

As of 10:30 Sunday night Melbourne time, three hours ahead of Philippine time, I have no fresh news from Columban sources. But CBCP News, the news agency of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, carries this report today:

Pagadian diocese shifts to prayer mode for Fr. Mick

PAGADIAN CITY, October 18, 2009—As they have not heard anything from anyone about Fr. Michael Sinnott’s condition and location as of late Saturday afternoon, Pagadian Bishop Emmanuel T. Cabajar, CSsR said the diocese started today communal and individual prayers to implore God’s help for the immediate release of the priest.

Interviewed by CBCPNews, the 67-year old prelate said he issued a circular in Cebuano that was read in all celebrations of the Holy Mass today in Pagadian’s 25 churches, 16 schools and 17 religious communities asking everyone to pray for Fr. Sinnott’s well-being.

“Streamers calling for Fr. Mick’s release have been placed in a number of areas in the city,” the prelate said.

He added prayer vigils will also be held along with the recitation of the Holy Rosary throughout the diocese.

“There’s no progress yet and nobody has contacted us,” he said.

Fr. Michael Sinnott, a Columban missionary, was abducted in his residence in Pagadian City early evening last Sunday, October 11, by heavily armed men. (Melo M. Acuña)

Yesterday CBCP News carried this report:

Columban Superior General flies to Pagadian, renews call for rescue of abducted confrere

MANILA, October 17, 2009—The Superior General of the Columbans, the society to where Fr. Michael “Mick” Sinnott belongs, flew in from Hong Kong and met Pagadian Bishop Emmanuel T. Cabajar, CSsR.

Fr. Patrick O’ Donoghue said Fr. Tommy Murphy, their superior general, flew in from Hong Kong last Thursday and flew to Ozamiz City Friday morning and proceeded to the Columban Residence in Pagadian City and renewed calls for the immediate release of Fr. Mick who is now on 6th day with kidnappers.

“He met with Bishop Cabajar, the clergy and community of Pagadian City including Fr. Mick’s Hangop Kabataan Foundation’s beneficiaries, to express his sincere appreciation for everyone’s concern to get Fr. Mick back to safety,” Fr. O’ Donoghue told CBCPNews.

“The Columbans in the Philippines sincerely appreciates Fr. Tommy’s visit, having to take the time to see us in Pagadian City,” Fr. O’ Donoghue added.

He added the congregation has moved its Central Administration from Dublin, Ireland to Hong Kong effective May 1, 2008. The congregation’s General Council had its offices in Ireland since the Society’s founding in 1918.

It was learned the move to Hong Kong reflected the Society’s 90-year commitment to cross-cultural Catholic mission work.

Fr. O’ Donoghue said today they have less than 500 priests and about 70 lay missionaries in various communities across Asia, South America and Oceania. (Melo M. Acuña)

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