The Columban Fathers were founded in Ireland by Fathers Edward Galvin
(later Bishop) and John Blowick for missionary work in China. Recognized by the Vatican in 1918, the society is named for St. Columban, a sixth-century Irish missionary monk. Anxious to have a strong presence in the U.S., Fathers Galvin and E.J. McCarthy established the Omaha office in 1918 and constructed a seminary in Bellevue in 1921. Today, Columban priests and lay missionaries serve in countries in Asia, Latin America, and Oceania.