Weekly Reflections

Weekly Reflections on Justice are written by the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach staff, volunteers, interns, and visiting Columban Missionaries. We hope these reflections help to guide you on your own spiritual journey working toward justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.

  • A Seamless Garment of Mercy: The Beloved Community of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    By Scott Wright, CCAO Director

    “The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • The Holy Family

    By Jennifer Labbadia, CCAO Communications and Outreach Associate

    The first Gospel reading of the New Year tells the story of the Shepherds welcoming the child of Mary into the world and sharing the Good News of his arrival. After arriving in Bethlehem, the shepherds encounter the Holy Family in the manger, under Jesus’ rising star.

    “When they saw this,
    they made known the message
    that had been told them about this child.
    All who heard it were amazed” (Luke 2:16-21)

  • The Year of Mercy

    By Rebecca Eastwood, CCAO Advocacy Associate

    We are now entering a new year and winding down from various holiday celebrations. If you are anything like me, you have been eating non-stop for the past few weeks, spending time with family members, watching holiday movies, and just generally relaxing.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...