May/June Far East Out Now

2nd May 2018 - by Katie Fitzpatrick

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In the May/ June edition of the Far East, we are introduced to James Trewby, who discusses his JPIC work for the Columbans, Fr Dan O’Connor writes a tribute to Asma Jahangir, a brave human rights campaigner in Pakistan and you can read the winning article form the Columban school journalism competition ‘Migrants are Our Neighbours’.

In James’ role as Columban Justice and Peace Education worker in Britain, he believes that seeing and experiencing the real life implications of justice, peace and ecology issues leaves a person feeling they can no longer stand on the sidelines, they simply have to act. His commitment to justice and peace issues is rooted in his experiences, such as time he spent living in a slum in the Philippines and volunteering with people experiencing homelessness in London. An ongoing project called ‘Meet a Missionary’ involves a Skype call between a Columban and groups of school children, teachers or chaplains. It is an opportunity for them to chat to a Columban and learn about a missionary acting on world issues today.

Asma Jahangir, a brave human rights campaigner, sadly collapsed and died of a brain haemorrhage on 11 February 2018. She was an inspiration to many in her native Pakistan and elsewhere around the world. Born in 1952 into a Muslim family and raised in Lahore during 1980s, she became a pro-democracy activist and her relentless fight for justice and for the rights of the people made those in power uneasy. She was imprisoned by the military regime of Zia-ul Haq and some years later she was placed under house arrest by another military dictator. Columbans in Pakistan found Asma to be an inspiration. They received active support and solidarity from her on the issues of bonded and enslaved labour. She was a proactive advocate in the movement to put an end to bonded enslavement of brick-kiln workers in the Punjab. She was known as the ‘voice of the voiceless’ and she struggled for the restoration of democracy. Her legacy will live on for many years to come.

To mark the Columban centenary year, we launched a journalism completion inviting students in Britain aged 15-18 to write an article on the topic ‘Migrant are Our Neighbours’. The winner of the competition is Ahlaam Molddina from Bishop Challoner Catholic College in Birmingham. Ahlaam writes ‘the 65.5 million displaced people around the world show us that we are not simply witnessing a breakdown of peace, but a breakdown of connectivity.’ In July 2010 she moved with her parents and five siblings from the United Arab Emirates to Birmingham. As anti-immigration sentiment grew, she and her siblings were able to find consolation in the kindness of their Catholic primary school.

In the article ‘Creating Bridges’ Columban Superior General Fr Kevin O’Neill tells the Far East how the centenary year of the society has been an opportunity to look to the past with gratitude and ‘to celebrate our continuing participation in God’s mission today’. Fr Kevin is currently based in Hong Kong, where the Columban General Council is located.

Full Cover May

Join us as we celebrate our centenary year with a Mass of Thanksgiving held on Saturday 30th June 12.30pm at St George’s Cathedral, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HR. 

You can download a sample of the latest issue of the Far East Magazine here:

  Far East Sample - May June 2018 (792.2 KiB, 351 hits)

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