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.

  • Children of Light

    Between October 10 and the winter solstice on December 21, we will lose two hours of daylight. The angle of the earth affects the number of daylight hours just as the angle from which we perceive ourselves and our place in the community directs our actions. In this first reading for today, Monday October 24, St. Paul contrasts children of light and children of darkness. He tells us that the mark of communal life is love of neighbor. Paul instructs us on how to behave as followers of Christ, the children...

  • World Mission Sunday

    This coming Sunday, October 23rd, marks the 90thanniversary of World Mission Sunday, first approved by Pope Pius XI in 1926. First established as a ‘day of prayer for the missions’, World Mission Sunday is set aside as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the work of mission in the church. As the Missionary Society of St. Columban, on Sunday we honor the work of the Columban community across the globe.How do we understand the work of mission today, though? In 2018, the...

  • Acknowledging Our Past

    Today, on Columbus day, most people have the day-off from work and school. For years I took this day off without putting much thought into what it means, without reflecting on the significance and legacy of Christopher Columbus. As young children in school, we all learn that Columbus discovered America in the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Now we know this to be untrue—Columbus did not “discover” America, people already lived here. Instead, Columbus contributed to the...

  • On Journey with Pope Francis and St. Francis of Assisi

    As a native of New England, I have never lost my love of fall and its majestic beauty. Eagerly, I await the magic of leaves transitioning to red, yellow and orange colors, fall flowers blossoming and all God’s creatures preparing for winter. Back home, a neighbor’s yearly complaint that squirrels were taking his precious acorns now makes me laugh. He never did anything with those acorns other than sweeping them up and throwing them away to spite the squirrels. Looking back, he did...

  • Amy's Winding Way

    Farm

    When I was a little girl my family lived in a rural town called Indian Trail, North Carolina. We had a vegetable garden about half the size of a football field. Nights and weekends were when my dad and I would go out to plant, prune, weed, water, and harvest. We had to walk from our house, through some woods on a dirt path my dad called, Amy’s Winding Way, to get to the garden. The journey was as magical as the destination. During those hours in the field, Dad taught me about intuiting the signs...

  • Sunny Days and Stormy Clouds at the Borderlands

    We Columbans at the U.S.-Mexico border find our monsoon rains a wonderful relief at this time of year. It’s great for us, because rain doesn’t fall very often here. In the midst of the great Northern Chihuahua Desert, both El Paso and Juarez—host cities to our mission center and our parish—usually experience over 300 sunny days a year, making the sun an especially attractive and affordable source of renewable energy for our communities. Our own Columban Mission Center had 22 panels installed four years ago on the roof of our two-story building in downtown...

  • Drops in a Bucket

    On September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and a very warm, partly cloudy day in Omaha, I went at midday to tend to my 4×8-foot plot in the Columban Community Garden. It seemed a fitting place to reflect on this “Season of Creation.” My praise, appreciation, and sense of inter-connectivity with creation was immediately heightened. Working among the four dozen such plots in our garden, particularly late in the growing season, I am completely immersed in an endless array of flowers and vegetation bursting with various colors, smells, shapes, and sizes. Beyond the...

  • To Everything There Is a Season

    To everything there is a season, a time for everything under heaven. In these next four weeks, we invite you to join us as we participate in a global act of solidarity and reverence for Creation. Beginning on September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ending on October 4, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, people of all faiths across the world will reflect on this “Season of Creation” by deepening our spiritual roots, changing our lifestyles, and joining in a global...

  • Blessed Indeed

    Who could fail to be moved by the picture of the three year-old Syrian boy washed up on a beach at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea or by the more recent photo of a stunned, bloodied five year-old sitting in an ambulance, alone? Refugees, people forcibly displaced from their homes, and stateless people total 65.3 million people. Half of the refugees are under age 18 according to UNHCR. Worldwide, more than half of refugees come from Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria. Nations of the world have yet to successfully address the needs of refugees, some of...

  • Change By Example

    The Columban delegation from the U.S. visiting Fatima House.

    The Columban delegation from the U.S. visiting Fatima House. I am a quote collector. Whenever I read or hear a quote I like, I write it down for further reflection at some future moment. Rarely do I follow through with this intention but I keep collecting, just in case. Today, however, is one of those days of further reflection. As I look to my office wall, filled with post-it note quotes from Jane Austen to The Talmud to our very own St. Columban, I settle on a bright pink one from one of my favorite...

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