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.

 

  • Global Catholic Climate Movement Anniversary

    Exactly one year ago, the Columbans in the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States helped give birth to the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), in anticipation of the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si: On the Care for Our Common Home. In May, Pope Francis met with the leaders of GCCM and endorsed our petition, inviting us to promote awareness among Catholics about the moral implications of the climate crisis. A month later, on June 18...

  • Lenten Reflection: Mournful Women Weeping

    At the presentation of Jesus in the temple, Simeon told Mary that a sword would pierce her: “and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:35) Although no actual physical harm came to Mary, Simeon’s prophesy came true. The sword that pierced her was the anguish, grief, and sorrow she experienced as her Son was crucified. Her sorrows were the focus of the 13th century poem Stabat Mater Dolorosa (The Sorrowful Mother Stood), which was...

  • Human Dignity through the Eyes of Columbans

    In addition to gaining more issue knowledge and advocacy skills, one important thing I obtained from my internship with Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach was the chance to explore the idea of human dignity and to contemplate what we can do to protect it. To me, human dignity represents the ultimate tender care for each individual. Throughout my internship, I witnessed the Columban’s work in issues pertaining to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, climate change, and migrants along the...

  • Learning from Different Lives

    I belong to a minority indigenous group in China, the Hani. My people’s faith lies in the belief that all creatures have souls and deserve equal respect. The Columban’s endeavors in social, environmental, and economic justice reflect a similar spirituality. Tracing back to my Hani heritage, as the migration intern, I feel even more closely related to the work Columbans are doing advocating for justice for immigrants. St. Columban once said, “A life unlike your own can be your teacher.” Similarly, one of the greatest philosophical...

  • In the Wake of the Attacks in Paris: “Gathering Courage, Healing Wounds”

    The terrorist attacks took place in Paris on November 13 was a tragedy that shook the world. Multiple shootings and explosions hit the busiest area of the city on Friday night, causing more than one hundred deaths. President Hollande responded to the attacks by calling it an “act of war,” and ordered another round of air strikes in Syria. The attacks have also triggered the anger and fear of people from all over the world  Many countries in the West, including the United States, have started to reconsider...

  • Dialogue for Peace: Alternatives to Drones

    On November 13th, 2015, attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers hit the Bataclan concert hall, Stade de France stadium, restaurants and bars in Paris, leaving at least 129 people dead and hundreds wounded. Just a day before, suicide bombings near an open-air market in southern Beirut also left 43 people dead and 239 wounded. Solidarity is shared across borders and extended overseas, and governments increase their determination to fight against ISIS. However, does war on terror or counter...

  • Trading Human Dignity for Trade Benefits

    Rampant human trafficking in Malaysia became an international controversy when Malaysia was upgraded from blacklist to tier 2 watch list in the “Trafficking in Persons Report” (TIP) only so Malaysia could be included in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is an international trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries. “The TIP report is sacred, and it represents the US efforts in human rights,” said Representative David Cicilline during the hearing, “Demanding Accountability...

  • Peace through Non-Violence and Solidarity

    Columban staff and interns met with Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, Tuesday afternoon to discuss the spirituality of peace, the power of non-violence, and ways to get involved in conflict transformation. Through Marie’s inspiring words and vast knowledge, we were able to witness the work of pacifist minds around the world. During our discussion, Marie asked an important question: Why do we prefer non-violence as a method of resolving conflicts rather than the use of...

  • Security of Children for Security of the Nation

    “If we want security, let us give security.” Bishop Seitz quoted Pope Francis as he was testifying on the hearing titled, “Ongoing Migration from Central America: An Examination of FY2015 Apprehensions.” The hearing was hosted by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The focus was the Central American children and families who cross the southern border. Through the testimony of the witnesses, I learned about the current situation for children making...

  • Bringing Hope to Women in Inter-Religious Dialogue

    On October 13, 2015, I had the good fortune to attend a panel on “Islam, Culture and Sexism: What Needs to Change?” held by U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). I left with a hope that one day equality between men and women would be appreciated across all religions and traditions. During the panel, I learned that blurring religious and cultural lines can negatively affect everyone. Take Islam for example. The traditional understanding of men as providers and protectors may lead men to act aggressively...

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