Mission in Hard Places

October 20, 2014

One of the privileges of working for the Missionary Society of St. Columban is the opportunity to visit our mission regions throughout the world. In May 2014, I visited Peru accompanied by coworker.

Peru, like all of the other Columban mission regions, is a hard place. The poverty, and all of poverty’s accompanying social ills, is pervasive. And while Chris and I saw plenty about which to despair – abused and neglected women and children, lack of educational opportunity, the shunning of the differently abled – there was more to celebrate. Mission in action – to see justice prevail, pain redeemed, hope reborn, and life restored in the hearts of those the world deems to be the most broken – is something to celebrate.

Around the world, Columbans seek the broken, the economically poor, the hopeless and the desperate. They live in the communities; they learn the names of people society casts aside. Columbans seek the people living on the margins in the darkness and live with them there. And in living there, in the hard places that know no geographic boundaries, they bring the Good News, the hope that will lead everyone into the light of a brighter tomorrow.

Fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.
—Philippians 2:2

Through Baptism, we share the call to mission. For some, that call will lead them away from home and family, to live and work in the hard places, to shine the light of promise. Others will stay closer to home offering prayerful support and their time and talent in local parishes and mission centers. Mission embraces our many different roles, unifying us with the one goal – to share the Gospel with everyone, everywhere, no matter how hard the place.

Kate Kenny is the Director of Communications for the U.S. Region of the Missionary Society of St. Columban.