12 Gifts of Christmas

Lazarus at the Gate

Columban Sr. Mary Dillon lives and works in Myanmar (formerly Burma) with some of the world’s most poor and marginalized people. She wrote of her encounter with a modern day Lazarus, a man dying on the street with no food, no shelter, no friends.

When I saw him I could only think of Lazarus at the gate, the searing parable Jesus told the Pharisees in St. Luke’s gospel (Lk.16:20)

It is only with your generous support that Sr. Mary is able to minister to the modern day lepers of the world, offering them not only safe shelter and food but also the grace, mercy and boundless love of Jesus Christ. Thank you for partnering with us.


Keeping Children Safe

Columban Fr. Ed O’Connell has been a missionary for almost 40 years. He currently lives and works in Peru. The Warmi Huasi project helps women living in poverty care for their families.

Juana, is just one of many mothers who live in San Benito (population 12,000), in the District of Carabayllo, a journey of two hours from the center of Lima, Peru. Although the township began fifteen years ago, most homes still lack access to running water, sewage, roads and a regular supply of electricity. The Warmi Huasi team of dedicated and experienced professionals consists, an obstetrician, a teacher, a psychologist, a social worker, and a nutritionist. The hope is that the mothers will be enabled to keep working, knowing that their children are growing, playing and learning in a safer and happier environment.

Most homes still lack access to running water, sewage, roads and a regular supply of electricity

Thank you for helping Juana and all of the other women struggling to earn money to provide for their families while also keeping their children safe.


Drug Addiction

I am now 27 years old and have reasonably good job selling financial products in a credit union. I feel so grateful to dad and mum for hanging in there with me and for Fr. Leo who in supporting my parents, helped make my recovery possible.

Ronald’s story has a happy ending; he’s happily reunited with his parents, gainfully employed and active in his church.

These are the words of Ronald Tasayco, and the Fr. Leo mentioned is Columban Fr. Leo Donnelly. Fr. Leo accompanied Ronald and his family as he battled drug addiction in Peru. Ronald’s story has a happy ending; he’s happily reunited with his parents, gainfully employed and active in his church. Thank you for partnering with us to help Ronald and others like him; thank you for caring enough to ensure that Ronald didn’t become another statistic, another prisoner, another life lost to addiction.


The Grain of Sand that We Offer

When Columban Fr. Noel O’Neill arrived in South Korea, the country was still recovering from the war. Today, South Korea is a bustling, economic hub in Asia. Unfortunately, people with disabilities were often overlooked and viewed as burdens in such a rapidly changing country. Seeing that need, Fr. Noel founded Emmaus Industries in 1978 to help the intellectually disabled discover their own dignity as they find a place in modern society.

I had already been quite disturbed by seeing our military and police shoot my fellow students as if their lives had no worth.

Emmaus Industries helps the disabled integrate in society as best they can.  Most, if not all, have been treated as rejects, and Emmaus welcomes them as valued, treasured members of God’s family.  Thank you for helping us to bring those who have been shunned out of the darkness and into the Light.


Breaking the Bonds of Poverty

In rural Peru, in the foothills of the Andres, Columban Sr. Young Mi works as a preschool teacher for developmentally disabled children. Due to the extreme poverty in the area, there are few, if any, services available to help the children. With a background in Montessori and special education, Sr. Young Mi is right at home with the children.

From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the preschool works with the children to develop their abilities and provides breakfast, lunch and a snack, nourishing their bodies as well as their minds. Knowing that their children are well cared for, the mothers are able to work to earn a bit of money to help support their families.

Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receives me: and whosoever shall receive me, receives not me, but Him that sent me. Mark 9:37

Due to the extreme poverty in the area, there are few, if any, services available to help the children.

It is only with your support that we are able to bring the love of the Father to the little children who suffer not only with extreme poverty but also with developmental delays. Thank you for caring for these children of God.


Strength through Prayer

Columban lay missionary Maria Rosa Vuniivi works with HIV/AIDS patients in South Korea. Originally from the Philippines, she has been in South Korea for over five years. Maria works with men, woman and children, all who suffer from the ravages of their illness. Yet, they do not give into despair. The patients receive more than shelter, medicine and food; they receive acceptance and love from Maria and others.

Maria works with men, woman and children, all who suffer from the ravages of their illness.

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

It is Maria’s faith that sustains her in the work, freely giving to others the mercy and grace that she has received. Your prayerful and financial partnership with us allows us to serve those who are regarded as modern day lepers. Thank you.


Water for Life

Columban Fr. Tomas King works with the Parkari Kohlis, a low caste Hindu Tribal people whose homeland is located in the south east of Pakistan, in the Thar Parkar Desert. Water is a life and death issue in Thar Parkar.

Women in Thar Parkar, as in many parts of the world, are charged with the task of collecting water. When it becomes scarce they have the even more arduous task of travelling longer distances. In a normal day, family members of each household spend around 4-6 hours carrying 4-5 clay pots amounting to 50-60 liters of water from wells.

Indeed, water is life! Without water there is no life. It is the most basic thing for living.

The Catholic Church, in its outreach, seeks to alleviate a little of the suffering. One modest effort is the construction of water tanks to store water.

Indeed, water is life! Without water there is no life. It is the most basic thing for living. As Christians it is through baptism that we enter into the life of the risen Christ. Thank you for answering your baptismal call to mission by partnering with us to bring water, indeed life itself, to some of the poorest regions of the world.


Negros Experience

Columban Fr. Vinnie Busch started the Subanen Crafts program  in the Philippines to help the Subanen people use their tribal weaving and  artistic skills to help feed and educate their families. The program is going  strong! Recently, some of the Subanen Crafters visited another Columban project  in the Philippines, the Negros Nine Demonstration Farm on the island of Negros Occidental.

Without your continued and faithful support, we would not be able to help young women…

Without your continued and faithful support, we would not be able to help young women like Mercy achieve their full potential and find a way out of poverty. Thank you for helping us make God’s love visible.


Faith Alive

Columban Fr. Peter Kenny spent many years as the parish priest of San Lorenzo Ruiz parish in the Philippines. But first, he and the parishioners had to build the church! The community’s faith in San Lorenzo, coupled with generous supporters in the U.S. and a series of providential coincidences, insured that both the church and the office were built!

In whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22

But first, he and the parishioners had to build the church!

Now living and working in the U.S., Fr. Peter still prays to San Lorenzo daily! Your compassion brings community-building aid to the world’s most poor, vulnerable and suffering people. Thank you for partnering with us in mission.


My Heart is the House of the Lord

Originally from Fiji, Columban lay missionary lives and works in Anapra, Mexico, on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez. It is one of the most violent places on earth as drug lords wage war with one another and the local impoverished population.

I prayed that in our journey of faith together we will open our hearts to allow Jesus to lead our lives always.

Sai wrote that, “I prayed that in our journey of faith together we will open our hearts to allow Jesus to lead our lives always. I believe that it is when we really feel the inner peace inside us, that we will be able to share the peace of the Lord Jesus to one another. This beautiful faith tradition of the posada has become for me a way of entrusting to the Holy Family the protection of all the people and their beloved families who are exposed to a lot of social violence in the reality we live in today.”

Thank you for supporting Sai and others like her who leave home, family and friends, to live among the poor in a foreign land, often risking their own lives to share the Good News.


Maybe God Speaks Good Chinese…

Filipina Columban lay missionary She Capili lives and works in Taiwan where she helps migrant workers who have been detained and women who have been trafficked return to their home countries or find safer employment.

The women she accompanies come from a number of countries – the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia – and all of them were searching for better lives in Taiwan.

The women she accompanies come from a number of countries – the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia – and all of them were searching for better lives in Taiwan. Unfortunately, these wound up working for unscrupulous employers who took control of their passports and some were trafficked into a situation of servitude. Chinese is the common language, although it is not the first language for any of them. Yet, they manage to communicate, to share their hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow.

Without you, and friends like you, we would be unable to help these migrants, alone and without friends or family to help them. Thank you for recognizing and affirming the dignity of all people and working with us to help them.