We are called to be peacemakers.
For nearly 100 years, Columbans have worked in countries torn by violence and war. In these situations they have worked to heal, reconcile, build bridges, and create mutual understanding through prophetic dialogue. Central to this mission is a commitment to building communities of peace.
“We choose to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence that reflects an inner well-being, just social and economic structures, active non-violence in the face of oppression, and a Christ-like peace that fosters a sense of inter-connectedness and solidarity with all living things.”
We advocate for human rights.
Columbans have been at the forefront of defending human rights, opposing torture and enforced disappearances, and supporting victims of torture and families of the disappeared. For this commitment, Columbans have been imprisoned, kidnapped and expelled under military governments in Chile, Peru, Korea and the Philippines. This in turn has deepened our commitment to active nonviolence. Columbans call for an end to torture everywhere, and respect for the basic human rights of all people.
We advocate for a culture of peace.
Faced with a culture of violence, the expansion of a military presence around the world, and a growing arms industry, Columbans work to cultivate a culture of peace and nonviolence. For nearly 70 years, Columbans have served in Japan and other parts of the world where nuclear weapons threaten global peace and stability. As members of Pax Christi International, Columbans call for an abolishment of nuclear weapons and a development of a moral framework that supports just peace and nonviolence as alternatives to war.
Columbans work closely with indigenous communities in Chile, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines and Taiwan to build relationships of mutual respect and cooperation, and to defend and protect indigenous lands and cultures.
Peace and Nonviolence Resources:
The New Year is a time for resolutions - another chance to help bring about a better world. This week, Fr. Pat Cunningham, a Columban missionary serving in Korea, invites us to consider how we can use our time and talents to be peacemakers. Fr. Pat shares his experience on Jeju Island, protesting the construction of a naval base. Then, we suggest four ways you can help bring peace to our world.
We begin this 2018 New Year with a word of thank you to each of our supporters! We are inspired by the many ways that you bring justice and compassion, healing and reconciliation, to a broken world.
What we need today is a “Candle Light Revolution for Peace” in every neighborhood, every city square, and every nation in the world. We must magnify the cry for peace, reach across oceans, and hold our leaders accountable, for the sake of the children and their children, for the peace of our world.
As the persecution of the Muslim minority in Rakhine State in Myanmar/Burma reaches a feverish pitch and forces thousands to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, Columban Superior General, Fr Kevin O’Neill, sends a message of solidarity saying: “We reject persecution of any community regardless of religion, race, or ethnic identity. We urge an end to the violence and violation of human rights of the Rohingya people and hope for their peaceful return to their homes in the Rakhine State of Myanmar/Burma.”
The U.S. Region of the Missionary Society of St. Columban joins Catholic leaders in urging dialogue with North Korea and Iran. Pope Francis has called for dialogue with North Korea and a rejection of “the narrative of fear…and the rhetoric of hatred.” At the UN, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, said, ”The international community must respond by seeking to revive negotiations ... Peace and international stability cannot be founded on mutually assured destruction or on the threat of annihilation.”
As representatives of national and international Catholic advocacy organizations working for peace and justice, we condemn unequivocally the display of hatred, overt racism, and viole
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