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Celebrating Saint Columbkille, Our Patron
Saint  Columbkille  (521-597), born  in  County Donegal, was originally  known  as Columba of  Iona,  or,  in  Old  Irish,  as “Colm Cille”  or  “Columcille”  (meaning  “Dove  of  the Church”).    Columbkille  was an  outstanding  figure  among Irish Gaelic missionary monks who  introduced  the  light of Christianity  to Scotland  at the beginning of the Dark Ages (450-1000).  
During  the  sixth  century,  some  of  the most  significant names  in  the history of  Irish Christianity studied at  the monastery  in  Clonard  founded  by  Saint  Finnian  of Clonard  (470-549).    Columbkille  was  a  pupil  at  the Clonard Abbey, situated on the River Boyne in modern County Meath,  when  the  average  number  of  scholars under  instruction  there was 3,000.   Twelve  students of Finnian of Clonard, including Columba, were known as the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.   Columbkille became a monk and was ordained a priest at Clonard.    

Sometime around 560, Columbkille became involved in a quarrel with Saint Finnian of Moville  (495-589) over a psalter.Columba  copied  the  manuscript  at  the scriptorium  in Moville,  intending  to  keep  the  copy  he made. 

Finnian disputed his  right  to  take  the  copy  and the  dispute  eventually  led  to  the  pitched Battle  of Cúl
Dreimhne  in 561, during which many men were killed.  Columbkille was convicted of the first known copyright infringement with  this  ruling: “To each cow  its calf,  to each book  its owner.”   A synod of clerics and scholars then  threatened  to  excommunicate Columbkille  for  the deaths  that  resulted  from  his  wrongdoing,  but  Saint Brendan  of  Birr  (d.  573)  spoke  on  his  behalf  with  the result  that  he  was  allowed  to  go  into  exile  instead.  Columbkille  suggested  that  he  would  work  as  a missionary  in Scotland  to help convert as many people as had been killed in the battle. 
He exiled himself from Ireland, to return only once again, several years later. In  563,  Columbkille  crossed  the  Irish  Sea  to  Scotland with  twelve companions, where according  to  legend he first landed at the southern tip of the Kintyre peninsula, near  Southend.   However,  being  still  in  sight  of  his native land he moved further north up the west coast of Scotland to the island of Iona, which became the center of his evangelizing mission to the Picts.    Columbkille was never separated from his native people at  Iona, because  the  Irish had been colonizing  the west
coast of Scotland  for hundreds of years.  

In addition  to his work  there  in guiding  the only center of  literacy  in the  region, Columbkille’s  reputation as a holy man  led to his role as a diplomat among the tribes.  He was very energetic  in  his  evangelical  work,  and,  along  with founding several churches in the Hebrides, he worked to make his monastery in Iona a school for missionaries.

Columbkille  was  a  renowned  man  of  letters,  having written  several  hymns,  and  he  is  credited with  having transcribed 300 books personally.  One of the few times he  left Scotland after his arrival was  toward  the end of his  life,  when  he  returned  to  Ireland  to  found  the monastery at Durrow in County Laois.   He died at Iona and was buried there in the monastery he created.  With Saint  Patrick  (387-461)  and  Saint Brigid  (451-525), Saint Columbkille  is  one  of  Ireland’s  three  great  and  holy patrons.  His feast day is June 9.  

On July 1, 1871, Bishop John Williams established  the Brighton  Catholic  community, which  had  been  served by St. Mary’s  in Brookline,  as St. Columbkille Parish.   He  named  Father  Patrick  J. Rogers  as  the  first  pastor.  The  new  parishioners, made  up  of  a majority  of  Irish immigrants, set immediately to building the magnificent church  that  has  stood  on  the  corner  of  Market  and Arlington  Streets  since  the mid-1870s.    Father Rogers was so proud of the new edifice that he affixed his name to  the  front  of  the  church  (over  the  rose  window)  in 1875.  There have been only seven pastors appointed to St. Columbkille since Father Rogers.



Plans are underway for the
Class of 1964's 50th Reunion in the Spring of 2014.  For more information call Joanne Siegfriedt Powers at 617-783-3413
Reunions and Special Events 

Reunions and special events are the perfect opportunity to reconnect with fellow alumni and the school. The School also hosts events throughout the year that exhibit the academic program, as well as traditional events such as the annual Cantata, Christmas Bazaar, and Catholic Schools Week.

Upcoming Events


    On Saturday, October 19, 2013, we are excited to have our 60th High School Reunion for the Class of 1953. We will host the Reunion at the Stockyard Restaurant from 12pm to 3pm, and the cost will be $50.00 per person. We are looking forward to seeing everyone and having a great time! If there are any questions please contact a Committee Member. Ann Ford, Kay Lyons, Jim Perry, Jean Sennott Simmons, and Jim Tobin: 617-787-0019


    On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, the Saint Columbkille Alumni Association will host the First Annual Mass of Remembrance at Saint Columbkille Church. The Mass will begin at 10:30 AM, followed by a light luncheon at the School. Alumni wishing to remember a classmate and attend the Mass should RSVP Mary Battles at 617.254.3110, ext.105, or
mbattles@stcps.org, by November 1st.


    On Saturday, October 19, 2013, the Class of 1963 will hold its 50th reunion at the Norfolk Golf Club in Westwood, Massachusetts. Contact Bill Goode at
WJGoode@WjGoodeCorp.com or 508-520-3494 for information. On Friday, October 18, 2013 we will visit the school and be given a tour while the classes are in session. It will be an opportunity to see how teaching has changed over the last 50 years. You will be impressed! Finally, we ask you to offer a prayer and remembrance for the following classmates who have passed away during the last three years:

Paula Abbot Neville…..November, 2011



Patricia Aldonis Spellman…….December, 2012



Joseph M. McElaney…….March, 2012



John J. Ryan…….January, 2011


Recent Events


    On Saturday, June 8, the Classes of 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 1974 and 1974, hosted a collective reunion.  The Reunion began at 4:00 PM at School where almuni visited their old classrooms, said hello to Miss Battles and met Head of School Bill Gartside.  A short video was shown highlighting the School today.  From 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM, guests were invited to The Stockyard for a benefit supper and socializing.

For more information on school events or to reach fellow classmates, please contact the Director of Institutional Advancement, Kathrine Cecere at
kcecere@stcps.org