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.

  • Dismantling Barriers that Exclude

    by Jenny Labbadia, Communications and Outreach Associate

    Can we love those that we disagree with?

    Recently, this was the focus of a mission trip I participated in to the United Kingdom. In Birmingham, Columban missionaries and lay missionaries work with groups of Muslims and Catholics, among others, to create spaces for dialogue and mutual understanding.

  • Hardly None

    by Ruth Coyne, Former Ignatian Volunteer

    The US Congress mandated a national census in 1790. Since that time a census has been taken every ten years.

    Viewed over several decades, census records can outline a family’s history: places of residence, ages, citizenship, number of children, occupation. Reading from decade to decade we can essentially watch a family grow up.

  • Gospel Hospitality

    By Ruth Coyne, Former Ignatian Volunteer

    Large crowds followed Jesus in Galilee while he preached about the Kingdom of God and healed those who came to be cured.

    His disciples supported him and took care of details that arose because of the many people who wanted to be near Jesus.

  • No Greater Love: Remembering the Columban Martyrs

    By Scott Wright

    On May 26, the Missionary Society of St. Columban will commemorate the martyrdom of at least 24 of its members by dedicating a Memorial Garden in Bellevue in their name.

    Many of these martyrs died during the Second World War, in the Philippines, or during the Korean War. Some were killed in China or Burma, or in Jamaica or Peru. But all are remembered for giving their lives as a witness to their Gospel faith.

  • The Tip of the Iceberg

    by Rebecca Eastwood, Advocacy Associate

    “It’s like an iceberg: the part you can see is only 10% of the whole story.”

    This phrase, used by Fr. Tomás King to describe the experience of explaining life in Pakistan to those outside that world, arose several times throughout his most recent visit to Washington, D.C.

    In April, the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach had the honor of hosting Columban Father Tomás King. For the past 22 years, Tomás has lived and served in Pakistan, primarily in the southern Sindh province.

  • Communion with Nature

    By Fr Kevin O’Neill, Superior General of the Columban Missionaries. The following reflection is the second part of an excerpt from a talk given at Maynooth in Ireland on November 30, 2015. 

    St. Columban could be said to have been both a theologian and ecologist. In his Second Sermon he gives the following advice to his monks who desired to enter into some understanding of the mystery of the Trinity:

  • A Life Unlike Your Own Can Be Your Teacher

    By Fr Kevin O’Neill, Superior General of the Columban Missionaries. The following reflection is an excerpt from a talk given at Maynooth in Ireland on November 30, 2015.

    Like our Patron, Columban missionaries leave their homeland, crossing boundaries of country, language, culture and creed to proclaim the gospel through witness, ministry and dialogue, listening to and heeding the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

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