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Signs of the Time: Two Years After Laudato Si

On Sunday, June 18, the church marks the second anniversary of Pope Francis’ ground-breaking encyclical letter, On Care for Our Common Home, otherwise known as Laudato Si’. Perhaps now, more than ever, with record-breaking rises in the earth’s temperatures, sea levels, droughts and floods and other extreme weather events, the nations of the world are taking notice. Even more, now, the teaching of Laudato Si’ is relevant, in the wake of the U.S.’ dramatic pull-out of the historic 2016 Paris Agreement...

Laudato Si’ Study and Action Guide

Praised be! On June 18, 2015 Columban missionaries welcomed and celebrated the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’. The full title translated into English is Praised Be, On Care for Our Common Home and is available online for everyone to read. While it is written in a way that should be accessible to most readers, it is 190 pages long and full of many thought-provoking teachings on the right relationships between religion and science, and between...

Columbans On Mission: From the Margins to the Powerful

Power and prosperity can stifle the Spirit, blind us to others and prevent us from understanding the weak. Witness the rich man who never understood or appreciated Lazarus at his door. (Lk 16:19-31) In 2013, the World Council of Churches met in Pusan, Korea, and published "Together Towards Life." One of its most challenging chapters is "Spirit of Liberation: Mission from the Margins." Jesus' mission was to liberate the oppressed, to open the eyes of the blind and to announce the Kingdom of God by opting to spend His time with the marginalized people of His day...

Signs of the Time: The Amazon Is at the Heart of the Church

From March 15 – 30, the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach helped to host a delegation of indigenous and pastoral leaders from the Pan-Amazonian Church Network (REPAM). Indigenous and pastoral leaders from communities in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, shared stories of survival and hope. They were accompanied by Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a Brazilian Franciscan, former archbishop of Sao Paulo Brazil, and a close friend and advisor to Pope Francis...

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...

From the Hill

The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach bridges Columban communities in the U.S. and around the world and policymakers in Washington, D.C. We work to elevate the Columban perspective and knowledge on issues ranging from international trade to climate change to U.S./Mexico border policy. ‘From The Hill’ recaps the month’s most pressing issues that we’re following! In the last ‘From the Hill’ we looked back on 2016 and its challenges and successes. We ended this reflection with: “In light of the events of 2016....

Signs of the Time: The Good Samaritan and the Good News of Sanctuary

In the first few weeks since the inauguration of a new president, the new administration has issued Executive Orders to build a wall on the U.S. – Mexico border, to bar refugees from Syria and other Muslim countries from entering the United States, and to cut off federal funding to Sanctuary Cities who seek to support immigrants and refugees, rather than to deport them. A nation of immigrants, and the children and grandchildren of immigrants, anxiously awaits to see whether the President of the United States...

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