Columbans host their first ‘Meet a Columban Missionary’ Encounter

The Columbans in Britain are proud to have hosted the first of their online ‘Meet a Columban Missionary’ encounters with Fr. Liam O’Callaghan in Pakistan last Thursday evening.

Keen to engage Columban supporters and connect them to real missionaries overseas, the Columbans in Britain have launched a new series of live webinars which will see Columban priests and lay missionaries from around the world talk openly about their ministry and their commitment to the Society of St. Columban.

The first of the encounters with Columban Fr. Liam O’Callaghan was held last Thursday evening (16th July) and was a great success. Scheduled for an hour, the event began with an opening prayer led by Columban JPIC Education Worker James Trewby who thanked God for the opportunity to come together and to learn more about Columban mission around the world. Fr. Liam then talked about the Columban’s history in Pakistan since 1979 and their main focus to provide tribal ministry, promote Justice and Peace, encourage interfaith dialogue with people of different faith backgrounds and to support formation of the laity in local communities.

Attendees were then invited to ask Fr. Liam questions through which they found out more about him, his day to day ministry in a Muslim country and the community he serves. He discussed the challenges of promoting ecology and raising awareness of the climate crisis and his efforts to promote Pope Francis’ Laudato Si by bringing people of different faiths together to tackle issues on climate change. He discussed the current Covid-19 pandemic and how it is badly affecting the country. He did however give encouraging examples of how people in his community have gone above and beyond to support each other, breaking down boundaries of faith and culture.

Talking of the live encounter with Fr. Liam last week, Columban JPIC Education Worker James Trewby explains, “With the onset of Covid-19, all of our parish visits have been suspended until next year meaning we’re unable to tell church congregations all about the Columbans and the tremendous work that we continue to do around the world.”  He adds, “We decided it was essential that people were still able to hear about us if they wanted to. By launching our new ‘Meet a Columban Missionary’ live webinar encounters, we’ve managed to connect real missionaries out in the field with supporters who ordinarily wouldn’t get the opportunity to hear first-hand about their exciting ministry overseas.”

The Missionary Society of St. Columban was founded in 1918 in Ireland as a Missionary Society of Priests for the evangelization of China. Columban Missionaries live and share the Gospel of Jesus by working with poor and exploited peoples and seeking justice and dignity for those denied their rights. They work hard to develop faith communities in the local church and promote dialogue between Christians and those from other religions. Besides this they advocate respect and care for the earth and the environment.

To register your interest in participating in our next ‘Meet A Columban Missionary’ encounter, please email emma.darling@columbans.co.uk.