Thank you for your support

3rd October 2013 - by Stephen Awre

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Columban missionaries around the world are very grateful indeed for the generous response to our September Appeal in Britain.  Thanks to your support, we can continue to be companions to the poor in Asia, Britain and Latin America, to cross boundaries of faith and culture for the sake of the Gospel, and to live and work in solidarity with the poor and the exploited Earth.

A message of thanks from the Columban Regional Director in Britain, Fr. Tom O’Reilly, has been sent to many of those who donated and is re-produced below for the many others who have declined an acknowledgement.

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Dear Columban Friends,

We are very grateful indeed for your recent gift to our September Appeal.  Your generous support provides great encouragement to Columban missionaries and allows them to continue their friendship with the poor and the marginalised in Asia and Latin America.

Columbans in Britain supported the National Justice and Peace Conference in July, where American theologian and storyteller, Megan McKenna, delivered four thought-provoking reflections on passages from the Gospels.  Her starting point was the ‘miracle’ of the feeding of the five thousand, ‘not counting women and children’, and her focus was on those very people stated as ‘not counted’, who are at the very heart of the miracle that happened.

Jesus takes pity on the crowd that has followed him all day.  He instructs his disciples, who are hungry and want Jesus for themselves, to share the food they have with the crowd.  The marvellous outcome is that through this sharing everyone present has enough to eat.

Each of us is called to see the world through the eyes of Jesus, take pity on those in need of ‘bread’ to eat and set a good example for others to follow by sharing what we have before taking for ourselves.  The account of Sr. Rebecca Conlon in the Far East is a modern example of how this miracle can happen again and again if we follow Jesus’ example.  Here, the ‘not counted’ in Society are the poor swept from their homes by floods.

Elsewhere in the Far East, they are the intellectually disabled in Korea, prisoners in Peru, bystanders at the bus stop in Myanmar.  In each case, Columbans and the people and communities with whom they work have shown their capacity to take pity and share what little they have for the benefit of others, and there are many others following in the footsteps of Jesus around the world.

You are among this number.  Through your kind support to Columban mission, you are helping miracles to happen.  We thank you once again for your support and promise to keep you always in our prayers.

Please tell us about your experience of reading and sharing the Far East with others.  E-mail to fareast@columbans.co.uk or write to us at the above address.

Yours gratefully,

Fr. Tom O’Reilly SSC
Regional Director for Britain