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 Sign of Peace during the Diamond Jubilee Mass in St Columban’s Home, Chuncheon City, South Korea on April 26, 2014. As a child, I thought Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Calendar was “off season” for the Church and Advent, Lent, and Easter were the only important “seasons.” Eventually, a maturing faith prevailed. O
Once again our country has been rocked by senseless killings, as religious and civic leaders across the nation, and people of good will call for an end to this spiral of violence.
During the week of July 4th, our nation was profoundly affected by violence and civil unrest. Two African-American men were killed by police in Baton Rouge, LA and St. Paul, MN. Five police officers were killed while protecting peaceful protestors in Dallas, TX. These events, in some way, affected every American.
On the first day of January, Pope Francis delivered the annual World Day of Peace message. It is an occasion each year to take stock of the state of the world, and to express hopes for the coming year. This year’s message echoes many of the themes that Francis has emphasized over the past year: “Overcome Indifference and Win Peace.”
Today we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was assassinated on Holy Thursday, April 4, 1968. He was a pastor, a prophet and a martyr who shared a deep compassion for the poor, the oppressed, the excluded; a deep passion for justice and commitment to defend and protect the vulnerable; and a deep love for the Gospel, the Beatitudes, and the Church.
Copyright © 2019 Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Washington, D.C.