Peace & Nonviolence

We are called to be peacemakers.

For nearly 100 years, Columbans have worked 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 choose to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence that reflects an inner well-being, just social and economic structures, active non-violence in the face of oppression, and a Christ-like peace that fosters a sense of inter-connectedness and solidarity with all living things.”

We advocate for human rights.

Columbans have been at the forefront of defending human rights, opposing torture and enforced disappearances, and supporting victims of torture and families of the disappeared. For this commitment, Columbans have been imprisoned, kidnapped and expelled under military governments in Chile, Peru, Korea and the Philippines. This in turn has deepened our commitment to active nonviolence.  Columbans call for an end to torture everywhere, and respect for the basic human rights of all people.

We advocate for a culture of peace.

Faced with a culture of violence, the expansion of a military presence around the world, and a growing arms industry, Columbans work to cultivate a culture of peace and nonviolence. For nearly 70 years, Columbans have served in Japan and other parts of the world where nuclear weapons threaten global peace and stability. As members of Pax Christi International, Columbans call for an abolishment of nuclear weapons and a development of a moral framework that supports just peace and nonviolence as alternatives to war. 

Columbans work closely with indigenous communities in Chile, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines and Taiwan to build relationships of mutual respect and cooperation, and to defend and protect indigenous lands and cultures.

Peace and Nonviolence Resources:


Peace & Nonviolence

  • The Central Role of Gospel Nonviolence

    I welcomed the opportunity to represent Columban JPIC (Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation) at a recent conference on, ‘Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence’. It was hosted by Pax Christi International and the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace, and held in Rome from April 11-13, 2016. Participants gathered from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and included lay people, theologians, and members of religious congregations, priests, and bishops...

  • I Have Called You to Be My Servant

    On the first Sunday after the Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord, we hear the passage this passage from the prophet Isaiah. It is a great call to service, to be a light to the nations so that by our actions we may bear witness to the hope for salvation throughout the earth. Imagine for a moment, what that hope might look like to a refugee or migrant, to those families which experience the terrible suffering of violence or war, or to those communities that experience the devastating effects...

  • Everyone Can Be an Artisan of Peace!

    On January 1, Pope Francis delivered his annual World Day of Peace message. He chose for his theme, on this 50th anniversary of the Peace Day message, “Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace.” His message is all the more timely and urgent, given a world torn by war and violence. For years now, daily accounts of the suffering of civilians in Aleppo, Syria and for months, tweets from a 7-year-old girl named Bana, pleading for help, have brought the plight of Syrian civilians and refugees into the...

  • Opening Our Hearts and Working for Peace

    The Sign of Peace during the Diamond Jubilee Mass in St Columban’s Home, Chuncheon City, South Korea on April 26, 2014. As a child, I thought Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Calendar was “off season” for the Church and Advent, Lent, and Easter were the only important “seasons.” Eventually, a maturing faith prevailed. Ordinary Time invites us to more deeply understand and appreciate the life of Jesus.  Pope Francis closes the Jubilee Year of Mercy on November 20, 2017, and Ordinary...

  • Why the Good Samaritan Matters Now More than Ever

    During the week of July 4th, our nation was profoundly affected by violence and civil unrest. Two African-American men were killed by police in Baton Rouge, LA and St. Paul, MN. Five police officers were killed while protecting peaceful protestors in Dallas, TX. These events, in some way, affected every American. No one should be killed at routine traffic stops or while protecting their communities. And in light of these events, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Sunday Mass readings for July 10th were...

  • 2016 World Day of Peace Message: “Overcome Indifference and Win Peace”

    By Scott Wright, CCAO Director

    On the first day of January, Pope Francis delivered the annual World Day of Peace message. It is an occasion each year to take stock of the state of the world, and to express hopes for the coming year. This year’s message echoes many of the themes that Francis has emphasized over the past year: “Overcome Indifference and Win Peace.”

  • 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...