Image: The President addresses a joint session of Congress
At the heart of the Columban mission is cross-cultural exchange, the belief that God speaks to us through the experiences of others, particularly those who are marginalized or living in poverty, and that we should open our hearts to learn from those experiences. As St. Columban puts it: “a life unlike your own can be your teacher.”
We must cross divides of all kinds in order to deepen our faith and strenghten the bonds of solidarity to create a more just and peaceful world.
Rooted in this foundation, Columbans are committed to addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality, environmental degradation, forced migration, and violence and war - struggles that communities all over the world face on a daily basis.
Columbans witness the hardships brought about by destructive global economic structures and policies. For many farmers and factory workers, poverty and exclusion from the global economy is a life or death matter. As people of faith, we are called to walk in solidarity with the economically poor and call for a global economy and market that serves all people.
- We envision a just, inclusive, and sustainable economy that:
- serves the common good,
- uplifts the most vulnerable,
- protects creation,
- and ensures dignified participation and work.
- We envision participation from and protection of the most vulnerable and marginalized in global economic institutions.
- We advocate for economic policies that reduce global poverty and address the disparity of resources.
- We advocate for global trading policies that serve the most vulnerable and ensure environmental protections.
For more than 30 years, Columban missionaries have been at the forefront of protecting the environment from destructive practices and addressing the urgency of climate change. Our mission experience of living with the natural world and with communities that have been marginalized and exploited impels us to seek ways to restore right relationships with all of creation.
- We envision a global and national commitment to the sustainable and just use of resources.
- We envision a culture that promotes a strong personal connection and commitment to creation.
- We envision a world that can sustainably support future generations of all forms of life.
- We envision a world that ensures access to resources and justice for the most vulnerable and impacted communities.
- We advocate for mitigating the causes of climate change and policies that help communities adapt to its harmful impacts.
- We advocate for a model of development that is not based on the intensive exploitation of natural resources, such as extractive industries.
Columban missionaries serve migrants and refugees in a dozen countries throughout Asia Pacific and the Americas, as well as on the US/MX border. Keeping in mind the Gospel mandate and our Catholic Social Teaching, we strive to “welcome the stranger” and to protect and promote the rights of migrants and refugees everywhere.
- We envision a U.S. immigration system that upholds human dignity and preserves family unity.
- We envision a culture of welcome & encounter that celebrates the dignity, gifts, and diversity that migrants bring.
- We envision policies that address the root causes of migration in order to create just and dignified conditions in home countries, allowing people to live safely and with dignity.
- We advocate for US/MX border policy that does not further militarize the region or harm the rights and dignity of border communities and migrants.
- We advocate for status protections for migrants (i.e. Dreamer protections) and protection from unjust enforcement measures (i.e. migrant detention).
Peace and Demilitarization
For 100 years, Columbans have served in countries torn by violence and war. In these situations, they have worked to heal, reconcile, build bridges, and create mutual understanding through prophetic dialogue. Central to this mission is a commitment to building communities of peace.
- We envision a global culture of peace and nonviolence that reflects just social and economic structures.
- We envision a world where militarism and war are not acceptable tools of foreign policy.
- We advocate for the protection of human rights around the world, especially in countries suffering from extreme human rights abuses and conflicts.
- We advocate for the use of diplomacy and international assistance in foreign relations in order to deepen the bonds of international cooperation and solidarity.