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About Us

Fr. Max with students

Spreading the Good News

The Columbans are a society of missionaries, including priests and lay people, who minister to people of various cultures as a way of witnessing to the universal love of God. We go in the name of the Church to announce, by deed and word, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Our Mission

Columban Fr. Tomas King celebrates Mass in a Pakistan village.
Columban Fr. Tomas King celebrates Mass in a Pakistan village.

Our mission throughout the world is to facilitate the formation of vibrant faith communities and help struggling people regain their dignity. Through our diverse efforts, we challenge the oppressive structures of poverty, illiteracy, violence and injustice. Our social, economic, medical and educational programs are open to all regardless of religious affiliation.

Our Vision

  • To establish the Church where the Gospel has not been preached.
  • To help local Churches grow into evangelizing communities open to all peoples.
  • To facilitate interchange between local Churches.
  • To promote dialogue between Christians and those from all other religious traditions.
  • To promote justice, peace and creation from a standpoint of solidarity with the poor.

Who We Are

The Missionary Society of St. Columban was formally founded in 1918 and takes its name from St. Columban, Ireland’s sixth century missionary to Europe.

We work in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Britain, China, Chile, Hong Kong, Fiji, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Rome, Mexico and the United States.

Through living and ministering among peoples of other cultures and traditions, we witness to our belief that all peoples are children of the one God and brothers and sisters in Christ. In those countries where we are unable to preach the Gospel openly, we continue to offer support to small and vulnerable Christian communities through our presence with them in their struggles. We invite people who have been abandoned or forgotten by society to find support and hope in vibrant faith communities.

In the U.S., we continue to invite all the baptized to share in the universal mission of the Church through actively supporting our various missionary endeavors or through exploring the missionary dimensions of their own faith with us in a cross cultural setting. We work with Korean, Hispanic, Filipino and Chinese communities in Washington, D.C., Bristol, Rhode Island, Omaha, Nebraska, El Paso, Texas (and across the border in Juarez, Mexico) and California. Our Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach in Washington, D.C., focuses on the issues of justice, peace and integrity of creation, raising awareness among lawmakers and providing young people with an opportunity to advocate on behalf of the voiceless.

In all of our work, we strive to identify with Jesus of Nazareth who said, “He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free and to proclaim the Lord’s year of favor.”