His mother attempted to deter him, prostrating herself on the threshold of the door; he stepped over her, left the province of Leinster, and placed himself under the tuition of the venerable Sinell, son of Oenach, abbot of Cluaininis in Lough Erne.
Sinell made Columban compose a commentary on the Psalms whilst under his tuition.
He found the Catholic faith in existence there, but Christian virtue and ecclesiastical discipline ignored or outraged -- thanks to the fury of the wars and the negligence of the bishops.The adventurous temper of his race, the passion for pilgrimage and preaching, drew him beyond the seas.He heard incessantly the voice which had spoken to Abraham echoing in his ears, "Go out of thine own country, and from thy father's house, into a land that I shall show thee." The abbot in vain attempted to retain him.He devoted himself during several years to traversing the country, preaching the Gospel, and especially giving an example to all of the humility and charity which he taught. If one of the members lapsed into vice, all the rest simultaneously, burning with charity, fell on him, and beat him back into the paths of virtue.Not a harsh word was uttered by one of them; they had all things in common.