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.

  • 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.

  • My Sheep Hear My Voice

    By Ruth Coyne, former Ignatian Volunteer Corps member

    In 1970, the United Nations General Assembly recognized April 22 as International Mother Earth Day, “Recognizing that Mother Earth reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit.”

    They also emphasized, “the responsibility we have to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a balance between economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.”

  • Holy Week and Easter: Mercy and Joy at the U.S. – Mexico Border

    During Holy Week, an immersion trip organized by the UK region of the Columbans visited the Columban Mission Center on the US-Mexico border. Julia Corcoran, a Columban Faith in Action Volunteer in the UK, reflects on the experience as a whole, sharing observations from other members of the delegation.

    As we come to the end of our time in El Paso and most of the group flies back to the UK, it is time to reflect on our whole mission exposure here at the border.

  • For Nothing is Impossible with God

    by Jenny Labbadia, Communications and Outreach Associate

    Today’s reading tells the story of the angel Gabriel bringing the news of Jesus’ coming conception to Mary. 

    Gabriel visits Mary in Nazareth and tells her:

    Do not be afraid, Mary,

    for you have found favor with God.

    Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son

    and you shall name him Jesus.” (Luke 1:30-31)

  • Easter Season Begins

    By Rebecca Eastwood, CCAO Advocacy Associate

    Yesterday, Easter Sunday marked the end of Lent and the beginning of the Easter season.

    When I was growing up, I remember counting down the days to Easter Sunday every year. This was not simply because I looked forward to the Easter egg hunts with my family or the piles of candy I knew I would find in those eggs, but because Easter marked the end of whatever practice I had decided to give up that Lent.