Columban Education Conference

by Emma Darling

Columban Ordained, Co-workers, and Lay Missionaries participated in an exciting Education Conference held at the Columban House in Solihull from Tuesday 11th - Thursday 13th October 2022.

The conference was designed to enable people to share with one another details from various courses, training sessions and events they had recently attended.

Tuesday’s session “Reflecting on our Synodal Path”, with Canon Paul Fitzgerald and Gemma Simmonds was extremely interesting and very enlightening. On Wednesday a number of people within the region presented to the group, explaining in detail different personal experiences and what they’d learnt from these opportunities.

Lay Missionary Nathalie Marytsch told us a little more about the dissertation she wrote for her degree recently which related to the lived experiences of women navigating the harsh British asylum system. Fr. Jim Fleming told us about a course he went on earlier in the year which explored Jewish and Christian heritage in Rome.

Fr. John Boles gave very interesting talk on fundraising and James Trewby, Columban Justice and Peace Education Worker spoke about JPIC matters and invited the group to watch a one of the recently published Columban Biodiversity podcasts in which young activists were asked questions about their passion for climate justice.

Conference participants were split into smaller groups and encouraged to take action, be it creating prayers, writing letters to the young activists they’d seen in the video and to local MPs. Below is a letter written by one of the groups to young activists, Marylu, Charmine and Sefa, who featured in the podcast episode.

A big thank you to those involved in the planning and organising of the conference and to all those who attended and participated willingly.

Dear Young Activists, Marylu, Charmine and Sefa,


As a Columban group of Ordained, Lay Missionaries and Co-workers from the region of Britain, gathered together as part of a conference, we listened to your concerns and your passions about the environment in the ‘Jubilee for the Earth’ podcast. We want to tell you that we support your tremendous work to care for Our Common Home and the biodiversity of our planet.

We are encouraged by your dedication and commitment, and proud to call you partners in mission; working tirelessly with us in favour of Mother Earth.

We commend you in encouraging your brothers and sisters to work in solidarity, and praise your proactive efforts and deep longing for action.

Keep doing what you’re doing. YOUR VOICES MATTER and future generations are counting on you. We hope others follow your bold example and together we can bring about change.

Yours sincerely,

The Columban Missionaries in Britain