As new Advocacy interns in Washington, D.C., we had the opportunity to meet Columban Fr. Frank Carroll, who served in Japan for 43 years. Fr. Frank talked about his experiences in Japan and other places, and also listened to our experiences. Currently residing in Rhode Island, Fr. Frank’s visit to CCAO added more depth to our understanding of the Columban mission for peace, justice and integrity of creation.
During the day, he joined us at a meeting of the interfaith working group on reducing U.S. military spending hosted by the Friends Committee on National Legislation. We discussed plans to create an online webinar to educate the public about the need to reduce U.S. military spending in order to invest in peace-building efforts. He also attended a meeting of the coalition of Catholic organizations working against human trafficking hosted by the Catholic Bishops Conference.
In the evening, he joined us at a Pax Christi International event where Pax Christi co-Presidents Marie Dennis and Bishop Kevin Dowling spoke about their personal commitment to peacemaking and the work of Pax Christi International. Bishop Dowling shared how his experience serving as a pastor for a black community in South Africa during Apartheid opened his eyes to the trauma of injustice. The quote “if you want peace, work for justice” represents his faith and his life’s work, as it does the mission of the Columban Fathers.
As Advocacy interns at the CCAO, we see Columban Fathers making a difference in the lives of the poor and marginalized. Their service is an inspiration and motivation for our advocacy work. We were thrilled to meet Fr. Frank Carrol, and we hope to see him again.