Host your own ‘Meet a Columban Missionary’ encounter for your local community, church or parish group

The Columbans in Britain are pleased to be offering parishes, religious groups and community organisations the opportunity to host an intimate ‘Meet a Columban Missionary’ encounter with a Columban Missionary.

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

Scheduled for 45-60 minutes the informal webinars tend to begin with an opening prayer before the missionary is invited to share details of their journey to becoming a missionary with the Columbans and explains the focus of their ministry. Participants can then be invited to ask the missionary questions. The missionary might be asked more about his/her day to day activities, the people they support, what motivates them and the challenges and highlights of their vocation.

Sr Roberta Ryan in Pakistan.

Talking of the live encounters, Communications Office in Britain Emma Darling explains, ‘Our virtual ‘Meet a Columban Missionary’ encounters are a great way for people to find out exactly what the vocation of a missionary looks like. It gives people an insight into how money donated to the Columbans is being spent and the communities it supports’. She adds, ‘We’re encouraging parish communities, bible study groups, faith groups and community organisations to get involved. If you think your Women’s Institute, choir members or children’s liturgy planning group might benefit from learning more about missionary vocations then please get in touch! We’ll work with you to find a suitable time and date to schedule a personalised live webinar with a Columban Missionary in one of the 16 countries where we work. We’ll be responsible for the technical aspects so you don’t need to worry about any of the Zoom webinar set up. It’s easy; all you need to do is share the webinar invite with your family, friends or group members and leave the rest to us!’

Fijian Columban Lay Missionary Lanieta Tamatawale with members of the deaf community in the Philippines.

Interested participants will receive a link to the Zoom webinar which they can access from the comfort of their own home – ideal during these unprecedented times when getting together in small groups indoors is not advisable without strict measures in place. Besides access to a laptop, computer, tablet or mobile phone, a robust internet connection will also be required for each attendee. Full details about signing into the webinar and how to navigate around Zoom will be provided prior to the event for those unfamiliar with the platform. We’ll gladly arrange a practice Zoom webinar for those looking to test their connectivity and ability to login to Zoom before the event.

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.

For more information about the our ‘Meet a Columban Missionary’ encounters and to talk through arranging one of your own, please email emma.darling@columbans.co.uk or call the Mission Office on 01564 772 096.