Columban Blog

The Columban Blog is written by members of the Columban community, including those participants in our internship program and other Columban outreach programs.

 

  • Enough Courage to Try

    In the midst of many small, humble homes is the house of Sister Betty and Father Peter. The houses stand, some almost hardly standing, along a dirt path in one of the poorer areas of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Sister Betty tells us about her work in the community to bring together women, empowering them against the abuse of spouses and hardship in the area. Behind the house is a patio with murals. One contains the names of people that were murdered or have disappeared in Juárez. One is a list...

  • Realizing My Passion and Vocation on the U.S.-Mexico Border

    Our time in El Paso, Texas was an incredible journey filled with sorrow, joy, laughter, love, and peace. We learned about the injustices that people suffer in the “Borderlands” (nickname for the area between US and Mexico) and all the amazing people working to make the lives of those who are marginalized better. Each day of my border immersion trip was packed with presentations, speakers, walking, and learning. Two experiences stood out to me that inspired me and gave me...

  • When Words aren't Enough

    As an English major, I spend the majority of my time reading and analyzing words. I have always found comfort in words. I like the way you can manipulate the sentence structure to emphasize a main point or how one word can carry many connotations that form together to produce a nuanced idea. I like words. But after my trip to the border, I am at a loss for words. I am at a loss for words partially because staying in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico put a face to the issue of immigration...

  • Dying to Live: Refugees and the Gospel

    On June 20, the United Nations recognizes World Refugee Day. As we approach that day, it is fitting to take stock of both the plight of refugees in the world today, as well as our responsibility to protect and provide safe haven to these most vulnerable people in our human family. In the last week of May, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said at least 1,000 people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa are believed to have drowned in...

  • Fr. McDonagh Seeks to Make Laudato Si’ Part of Every Day Lives

    What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? (LS160). Columban Father Sean McDonagh, one of the foremost Catholic proponents of raising ecological awareness, is a well-respected author on eco-theological matters and one of the consultants drafting Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. Father McDonagh hails the encyclical as the preeminent call to save “our Sister, Mother Earth” and protect the...

  • The Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor

    Exactly one year ago, on June 18, Pope Francis issued his ground-breaking encyclical “On Care for Our Common Home,” known by its Latin name as Laudato Si', which recalls the beautiful words of St. Francis’ canticle in praise of the entire creation. Globally, the response to the encyclical from the media, the major faith traditions and ordinary people has been phenomenal. As we approach the one year anniversary of its publication, the challenge, in the words of Irish missionary Donal Dorr, is for...

  • Will We Walk in His Shoes: Responses to Laudato Si’

    In his papal encyclical letter Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis urgently asks “every person living on this planet” to see and take responsibility for what environmental degradation is doing to the earth ─ “our common home” ─ and the vulnerable poor. Pope Francis goes further and asks for changes in our economy and lifestyles in order to save our common home. He asks us to reflect on these types of questions: Do we see the environmental crisis that is causing among other things...

  • Earth Day, Climate Change, and Ecological Conversion: The Road beyond Paris

    On April 22, people around the world will commemorate Earth Day, which was first celebrated in 1970. On that day, the United States and China will join other governments to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. As the two biggest polluters in the world, the U.S. and China account for nearly 40 percent of the global emissions.At the other end of the spectrum, as island nations who are most vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme...

  • Gender-Based Violence in the Northern Triangle: The Root Causes of Asylum in the United States

    Widespread violence in the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) of Central America, one of the most dangerous places on earth, is the root cause of women and children leaving their countries of origin and seeking asylum in the United States. Violence undermines women and children in their immediate households, neighborhoods, and workplaces. Not surprisingly, since 2008, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported a nearly five-fold increase in the...

  • Going on Mission Today: Walking the Walk

    After the Transfiguration, the disciples walk down from the mountain with Jesus, and then a large crowd meets them. In Luke’s version, the incapacity and defects of the disciples is emphasized. These would-be leaders of the people, who were given authority and power over all demons and the power to heal (9:1-2), still have much to learn: they are not in charge, but under a charge. Jesus needs us to continue his mission. Not everyone recognizes that we are sent, and that we, as disciples of...

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