Fr Columba Maria Jordan CFR

@ Friars of the Renewal

Father Columba, 33, baptized Brian, had fleeting ideas about the priesthood as young as age 5. As he grew older, however, despite the strong Catholicism of his mother, he rebuffed the Church and became something of a spiritual seeker.

He said his reawakened Catholic faith came at age 17 at a Divine Mercy conference that his father helped to organize.

“That changed things for me in the practice of my faith,” he said. “I began hanging out with Christian friends, saying the Rosary, going to Mass—then very, very quickly in prayer I started bringing up the priesthood again.”

He didn’t act on it immediately, however. He played guitar and studied information technology at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth. “I wanted to get married,” he said, explaining his hesitancy about pursuing the priesthood. “But I wasn’t at peace in my relationships.”

After graduation, he worked for a year as a web designer for the Irish Jesuits then attended Pope John Paul II’s 2000 World Youth Day festival in Rome. That’s when he “decided to give it a go for a year.”

“I stopped fighting it, and experienced a profound peace,” he said.

He considered whether to become a diocesan priest in Ireland or join a religious community. He looked in several communities, including the New York-based Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, which he had first come across in the early 1990s at a youth conference where Father Stan Fortuna, C.F.R., was performing.
He joined in 2001, and arrived in New York six days before the 9/11 attacks. “It was very dramatic,” he said.

Since then, he has served in various Renewal Friars’ ministries. He was a member of the mission team, directed the community choir and led holy hours for the Catholic Underground.