September Appeal 2017

4th September 2017 - by Katie Fitzpatrick

Fr. Peter Hughes, Columban Regional Director in Britain, discusses the importance of sharing the ‘daily bread’ we receive and being grateful for the harvest.

Dear Columban Friends,

“Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks and distributed them to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish and gave them as much as they wanted.” John 6:11


Thanks Giving Bible Verse

Autumn is the traditional time when we give thanks for the harvest we have reaped. Conventionally, this means the food we have grown to keep us going until spring. Today, most of us play little or no part in ‘reaping the harvests’ that provide for us, since much of what we consume is produced far from our homes. Who is growing or producing our food, clothes, vehicles, gadgets, energy, etc.? What are the processes involved and how do they impact on peoples’ lives and the natural environment? I suspect we have far more to be grateful for and to learn, about the impact of our consumption, than we realise.

Columban missionaries have the privilege of being among people like those of the indigenous Subanen tribes in the Philippines, where they witness at first hand the cost and opportunity of drawing on resources in one place to provide for people in another. In the Far East magazine, you will read of how the Subanen’s natural habitat has been affected by logging and mining and how respectful use of nature’s resources is producing crafts and Christmas cards for sale to provide the means by which families marginalised by society can survive the ‘hunger season’. The more we know the people that provide what we have, the closer our relationship, the easier it becomes to be truly grateful for the ‘daily bread’ we receive, to be satisfied with less so that everyone can have something and to be respectful of all Creation.

Thanksgiving was our first priority when planning to celebrate 100 years of Columban mission in 2018 and we are grateful indeed for the many who have already contacted us about our Mass of Thanksgiving in Birmingham on 25th November (see page 16 of the Far East). We are grateful too for your Columban stories, which we continue to invite. Launching now is a competition for budding young journalists on the theme ‘Migrants are our neighbours’ (see page 17). Refugees and asylum seekers are neighbours to Columban missionaries in many parts of the world and the competition aims to bring to light positive stories of how this is happening for people in Britain. To find out more, visit:

As we enter the season of Creation (1 September-4 October), we are reminded by Pope Francis that “all of us are called to cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” (Laudato Si’)

Thank you for the kind and generous cooperation you give to Columban missionaries.

Yours sincerely,


Fr. Peter Hughes SSC
Regional Director for Britain

Support Columbans to listen to the stories of God’s people in the world today and to hear their cry for justice and compassion.

Please donate to the Columban September Appeal 2017