Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation – A Ministry of Communion

June 4, 2010

At the heart of our faith is the communion to which we are called through the example of Jesus’ life, sacrifice, death and resurrection. In response to this call to table fellowship, Columban missionaries in the United States opened our office of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) ministry in Washington, D.C., in 1985. For twenty-five years the essence of the JPIC ministry has been and continues to be to challenge the structures of injustice, exclusion and exploitation that keep all people and creation from sharing the One Banquet.

Fr. Arturo Aguilar - U.S. Regional Director

Fr. Arturo Aguilar - U.S. Regional Director

It is a ministry that is about healing broken relationships. In the Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation we pray, “You have gathered us here around the table of your Son, in fellowship with the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and all the saints. In that new world where the fullness of your peace will be revealed, gather people of every race, language and way of life to share in the one eternal banquet with Jesus Christ the Lord.” Our JPIC ministry is witness to our belief in the Gospel message that a new world is possible, where all will have life to the full.

Through the leadership of Columban missionaries like founding director Fr. Michael O’Laughlin and successors Fr. Mark Mengel, Fr. Chuck Lintz, Fr. Mike Dodd, the JPIC ministry has told the human story of the barriers that keep people marginalized such as international debt, global warming, migration, poverty, hunger and war. The telling of that story has brought a greater awareness to those in political power in the U.S. and around the world of the impact economic, social and political policies have on individuals, families, human rights, communities and countries. This awareness has at times helped to facilitate change for a more just, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.

Our JPIC ministry is witness to our belief in the Gospel message that a new world is possible, where all will have life to the full.

Today through the JPIC ministry and the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, we continue to work to right the relationships of injustice and inequity with the participation of young people through our Advocacy Internship Program and Columban Volunteers U.S.A. The ministry has become one that both informs and forms people to live their missionary calling to take their seat at the Table of Life.