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Justice & Peace





J&P Editorial


Left to right - Bishop William Kenney, Rosemary Read, Fr Peter Hughes, Ellen Teague, Bruce Kent and Tom O'Reilly

Catholic journalists Josephine Siedlecka (Independent Catholic News), Paul Donovan (The Universe) and Ellen Teague attend the climate service and rally in Central London on 4 December 2010

Columbans scatter “seeds of peace, justice and environmental responsibility”

(Photo: Bishop William Kenney and Fr Peter Hughes)


The Columban magazine‘Vocation for Justice’ has been thanked for “25 years of scattering the seeds of peace, justice and environmental responsibility” by Pax Christi’s vice-president Bruce Kent. He was speaking at a joyful celebration on 13 May at Heythrop College in London to mark 25 years of the Columban Missionary Society’s Justice and Peace newsletter. More than 100 people attended the event, which was chaired by Bishop William Kenney, auxiliary in Birmingham Archdiocese. Bishop Kenny suggested that on-going work for justice will always be necessary. “Justice has to be won in every generation,” he said, “for it is not won and then there forever”. He listened as the bishops were urged to give adequate resourcing to Justice and Peace work, invest church funds ethically, publicly criticise the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system, and take action on climate change.


The first newsletter in 1987 reached 250 Columban contacts. Today, three issues annually reach around 10,000 readers, covering such campaigns as Jubilee 2000, Stop Destructive Mining in the Philippines, Halt Trident Renewal, Make Poverty History and Stop Climate Chaos. At their 1994 General Assembly the Columbans said that, “in looking at the world and the missionary challenges it presents, we do so from the evangelical standpoint of solidarity with the poor and the exploited Earth.” Justice and Peace is a vital element of mission work in all the 15 countries where Columbans are based.


Other speakers at the evening included Rosemary Read, President of the National Council of Lay Associations, and Mary Colwell, Environmental Justice Advisor to the Bishops’ Conference.  Both urged that the Columbans to continue their prophetic justice and peace work. Heads of many Catholic caring agencies and groups – such as CAFOD, Progressio, Catholic Association for Racial Justice, Housing Justice, and the National Justice and Peace Network – joined editors of the newsletter, Fr Peter Hughes SSC and Ellen Teague, to mark the occasion. Fr Tom O’Reilly, Director in British Region was also present. A special commemorative issue of ‘Vocation for Justice’ was distributed at the event with 42 articles written by Columbans and their Justice and Peace partners in the UK.  It acknowledges “the contribution of so many people who commit their time and energy, very often without much acknowledgement or appreciation, to the mission of justice and peace” according to Fr Peter Hughes, who was based in Chile for 27 years.






Cancun Climate Conference
Ellen was involved in a lobby ‘The Big Climate Connection’ in the leadup to the UN Climate Summit in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010. The lobby was part of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, where people across the UK from all walks of life and organisations joined up to lobby more than 250 MPs on this issue. Some of Sean McDonagh’s blogs from Cancun have appeared on Independent Catholic News ( On Saturday, 4 December there was an ecumenical prayer service, followed by a march through London praying and calling for strong political action in Cancun. A congregation of around 150 sang the new Pete Seeger Song, written after the Gulf Oil spill – ‘God’s counting on me, God’s counting on you’’. For reports on the conference outcome see Columban Justice and Peace is part of this Stop Climate Chaos Coalition - see our logo at the bottom of the home page.


Fr. Peter Hughes SSC


The Columban Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office in Britain is based at St. Joseph’s, Watford Way, Hendon. London NW4 4TY

Tel: 020 8202 2555

Fax: 020 8202 5775



The Coordinator of the team is:

Fr. Peter Hughes SSC

Team Members:

Fr. Frank Nally SSC

Ellen Teague