Vocations for Lay People
Columban Lay missionaries are called by God, initially to leave family, culture and country. In responding to this call, lay missionaries come to know more deeply the compassionate and loving Jesus who made His home with the poor and marginalised. This inspires, guides and nurtures lay missionaries in their journey of presence, witness and service.
At present there are more than 60 lay missionaries from eight different backgrounds serving in twelve of the countries where Columbans work. They are engaged in pastoral and outreach work with local communities, often focusing on social justice work and interfaith dialogue.
The development of Columban Lay Mission in Britain, began in the mid-80’s when three women from the Philippines came to England. In 1994 the first group of British lay missionaries were trained and sent abroad. They departed in January 1995 to Peru. So far there have been 20 British lay missionaries sent on mission to Pakistan, Peru, Chile and the Philippines. One British lay missionary has served in Lima, Peru since 2003.
Britain, since the mid-90’s, has received eight groups of missionaries from overseas (the Philippines and Chile). Currently, there are six lay missionaries based in Birmingham. They engage in various local projects aimed at promoting good relations among people of different faiths and cultures.
Do you fulfil the basic requirements?
- Are you a British National / resident
- Are you a committed Christian of the Catholic Tradition.
- Able to relate one’s faith to all aspects of life.
- Do you have some experience of pastoral work i.e. in one’s parish, one’s occupation or through voluntary activities.
- Are you aged between 23 and 40 years of age.
- Are you able to make a three year overseas commitment.
- Are you able to participate in a nine month course in the UK to prepare for overseas assignment.
- Are single or a married couple with dependent children of pre-school age.
- Are in good physical and psychological health.
- Are willing to learn a new language and cross barriers of culture and belief.
- Identify with the Columban response to the Gospel invitation to mission.
Meet the Lay Missionaries
Columban lay missionaries work in cross-cultural mission in 12 of the countries where the Columban Missionary Society works. Britain receives and sends lay missionaries.