Columban Father James G. “Shay” Cullen was ordained in April 1969, and began his first mission assignment in the Philippines later that year.
The young priest saw there a great deal of exploitation of Filipino youth, especially young women. Criminal gangs, condoned or even assisted by corrupt Filipino police and other authorities, used these young women to make money in nightclubs and bordellos, many of which were located near the Subic Bay U.S. Navy base in Olongapo City.
In 1974, Father Cullen founded the People’s Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance Foundation or PREDA, to combat this sexual trade, save young people from unjust incarceration, and save and rehabilitate the exploited.
Father Cullen had begun an organization which has saved countless young people and received numerous human rights awards from various countries, including three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.
PREDA has now grown into an internationally respected human rights foundation.