“We are not here to convert China, but to do God’s will
and we do not know 24 hours ahead what that is”
These were the words of Edward Galvin, founder of the Columban Missionary Society, as the first missionaries set out in 1920 to live and walk alongside the poor and struggling people of China, who were troubled daily by political turmoil and natural disasters.
Never could they have foreseen the rapid expansion of the Society that is today working in fourteen countries across Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific, in places and circumstances which are the modern equivalent of the challenges faced in China almost 100 years ago.
We aim to grow vibrant Christian communities wherever we go, restoring dignity to the marginalised and equipping them to challenge the roots of poverty and social injustice impacting on their lives.
Here you can find out where we are, why we are there and what we are doing in response to the particular challenges of each place. We rely entirely on the support of friends and benefactors to help us continue this work. If you like what you find here, please consider making a donation.
Columban missionaries originally came almost entirely from Ireland, the United States of America and Australia, where today many of our supporters and benefactors live. In each country, Columban mission focuses on increasing mission awareness, advocacy on issues of justice, peace and the integrity of creation, interfaith dialogue and the exchange of people and resources with other Columban mission areas. Find out more by visiting their websites.
In September 2012, a new Superior General (Fr. Kevin O’Neill) and General Council (Frs. Arturo Arguilar, Pat Colgan and Darwin Bayaca) was elected. They form the Central Administration of the Society, which is based in Hong Kong, at the heart of our Asian mission regions. The Procurator General Fr Robert McCulloch maintains our link to the Vatican and is based in Rome
Around the world
Our present understanding of Columban mission is well expressed in the following statement of the 1994 Columban General Assembly.
“Generous response in faith to God’s call is at the heart of our missionary charism, which urges us to continually go out and move on. In fidelity to our founders’ vision and our ongoing experience of God’s call, we cross boundaries of country, culture and religion to discover the living God and announce the Good News of God’s reign. We do this as disciples of Jesus, through witness and dialogue from the standpoint of solidarity with the poor and the exploited earth. Our reaching out in mission involves our own evangelization and transformation by the poor. We feel called to go to peoples, groups and social-cultural contexts in which Christ and his Gospel are not known, or which lack Christian communities sufficiently mature to be able to incarnate the faith in their own environment and proclaim it to other groups. As an international, multicultural Society we forge links between local churches in the service of mission. We strive to develop the missionary dimension of each local church in which we work and commit ourselves to partnership with others who also hear the missionary call.”
Columban mission is to Asia, Latin America, the Pacific and Europe. We work in mainly poor countries and in the poorer areas of those countries.
The links below will take you to the websites of Columban regions around the world and some are in the local language.