As my time as intern here at the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach draws to a close, I reflect on my time and experiences here. Through the Columban Center internship I have learned much about faith, the environment, and how the two affect one another and the world as a whole. I learned about the Catholic Social teaching values, and how those values apply to all, from the care of the poor and vulnerable to the protection of God’s creation and how these values can be voiced through the call of community action. We can all play a role in improving the world around us through utilizing these important values in our everyday lives.
This internship has served as a good experience in seeing firsthand the role of advocating in government and its importance in the legislative process. Through my experience with the Columbans, I have a better appreciation for those involved in voicing the concerns of the public when considering legislation that affects many. It has influenced me in giving me perspective to the role we all play in comprising our country and how what we say and act upon can affect others, both domestically as well as across the globe.
As a part of my experience with this internship, I learned more about myself and my faith. I discovered that faith has a role in issues that at first glance would seem unrelated to it, such as climate change and care for the environment. The faith of the Catholic Social Teaching holds the care of the environment in high regard, with the protection of God’s creation and all those in it as a priority in Columban advocating and outreach efforts. The Columban Center seeks to extend awareness of this issue and expand knowledge of the ways we all can contribute towards looking after God’s creation. While much has been accomplished in this aspect, there will always be new issues and difficulties that arise, and as a result the Columbans will continue its efforts advocating the ideals of the Catholic Social Teaching and in voicing the concerns of all, including those less fortunate who lack a voice in the policy-making process.
In conclusion, I have learned much through this internship, about the advocating process, the relationship between faith and environmental justice, as well as about my own faith and its influence on me throughout this internship. Although my role here is coming to an end, the Columbans will continue in its efforts in advocating for all and its work will not cease until all are heard and considered in policy-making across the globe in many issues, including economic justice, environmental justice, and migration. Let’s all contribute in improving our world around us by doing all we can towards following the examples set forth by the social values and ideals of the Columbans.