God is already present and active in any given situation long before the missionary arrives, so our first task is always to listen and to look for the signs of God’s presence at work. By educating ourselves in this way, we become more able to participate in God’s mission wherever we are, which is often expressed through education in different forms.


Around the world, Columban missionaries provide education for the poorest and most disadvantaged children and young adults, catechesis in parishes, and livelihood projects for women, migrants and indigenous communities. We are particularly active in educating people about Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and our collective responsibility to care for God’s creation, our common home.

In Britain, we run workshops, assemblies and retreats for dioceses, parishes, educators and young people, covering themes such as ‘Care for Creation’, ‘Exploring Mission’, and ‘Welcoming the Stranger’. Each year, we visit parishes as members of the Catholic Missionary Union to share our experience of cross-cultural mission with the Church in Britain.

James Trewby, our Justice, Peace & Ecology Co-ordinator, visits schools around Britain to help educators and young people explore the relationship between faith and action on social justice issues. For more information, email

Columbans and young people hold banners at Flame
Columban representatives attend Flame 2023, a national Catholic youth gathering in London
Fr. Neil Magill with students at the Higher Education School, founded by the Columbans in Myanmar to provide talented young people from poor backgrounds with access to higher education
James and the young participants in Calais
James Trewby and young volunteers support migrants and asylum seekers with charity Care4Calais
A teacher visits the home of a child in n Lampa, Ayacucho, Peru to give a catch up lesson
A teacher visits the home of a child in Lampa, Ayacucho, Peru to give a catch up lesson
Young students with James Trewby and Fr. John Boles holding a banner
St. Anne's Catholic Primary school in Birmingham welcomes James Trewby and Fr. John Boles for an education session
group stand together in a circle
Students form a 'circle of life' as part of a learning encounter in Myanmar

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”