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 Education worker, 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

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.
Justice and Peace Education Worker James Trewby attending the Flame National Youth Congress in 2019 with Columban Faith in Action volunteers.
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.

“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.”