Culture of Peace Bulletin

The Culture of Peace Bulletin (COP) was published monthly by the Columban Mission Institute's Centre for Peace, Ecology & Justice (PEJ) as a Catholic Resource for Parishes and Schools. Each edition focuses on issues around the themes of justice, peace and ecology from the Gospel perspective.

Read our archival collection of COP Bulletins from 2011-2017 below. (April 2017 marks the last edition)

2017:

 
  April
Death, Decay and Renewing Life
“Whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.”
Pope Francis teaches us that for Christians “their responsibility within creation and towards nature and the Creator” are an essential part of their faith. (#3) (PDF Bulletin)
  March
Power With, Not Power Over
Dealing with the temptation to make wrong choices is part of being human. We encounter the good side and the dark side in our daily lives and it’s often a struggle to know which is which, like the insect entangled in the spider’s web, struggling to escape. (#2) (PDF - Bulletin)
  January/February
Shining your Light when it seems so Dark
Let us choose to share the light of our good news stories and “stick the light in the dark”. (#1) (PDF Bulletin)

2016:

 
  December
What's Christmas about
The Buy Nothing Christmas initiative is about reducing consumption and includes great ideas from around the globe including ways of cutting down on plastic usage.
 (#11) (PDF Bulletin)
  November
Growing a Culture of Life
Pope Francis teaches in Laudato Si’, “the ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things.” (#83) (PDF Bulletin)
  October
Subanen Doing what we are obliged to do
Like Mary, Subanen women give birth in simple shelters with their farm animals kept safely nearby. Like Joseph and Mary, Subanen parents struggle every day to give their families proper food, water, shelter and health care. (PDF Bulletin)
  September
being more than having Being more than having!
The seduction of acquisitiveness is powerful in our consumerist society. It is easy for us to be caught up in this: personally, in our homes, our schools, our workplaces, our cities, our churches, everywhere. This Gospel passage is a reminder that be-ing is more than have-ing. (PDF Bulletin)
  August
Our Treasure - Earth’s Biodiversity
Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’ challenges all people to care for Earth, our Common Home. The Earth is our treasure. (PDF Bulletin)
  July
Active Peacemaking
In our current global situation, humanity needs a vision of people living together peacefully and sharing the responsibility for the care of each other and the Earth. (PDF Bulletin)
  June
What does it mean to be human in these times?
How blessed we are to know Jesus as a role model for our lives. In these times when Australia’s political leaders are hard-hearted about refugees locked up out of sight on Manus Island and Nauru, good people are living out their faith by continuing to speak out against this injustice. (PDF Bulletin)
  May
Listening to God, Listening to Oneself, Listening to Nature
Take time daily to pay attention to nature. Listen to what it is saying in the birds, the insects, the clouds, the sky, the ground under your feet. (PDF bulletin)
  April
Following the One who is Peace
"To seek peace, deep peace rooted in justice, shalom – not a mere absence of war, but the fullness of life for all – that is the Christian vocation and way of life".
(PDF bulletin)
  March
Image © Oxfam Australia, Flickr. Fasting, Hunger and Generosity
I will never forget the generosity of the poor rural people in Northern Bangladesh. We were visiting villages where the people mostly struggled to feed their families a decent meal each day. Hunger was a constant companion. (PDF bulletin)
  January/February
Fishing and Life
It must have been that Jesus knew fishing well. In the Gospels there are many references to fish and fishing. Ichthys, the Greek word-symbol for fish, became the Christian symbol for Jesus Christ by which early Christians recognised one another. (PDF bulletin)

2015:

 
  December
Culture of Peace Bulletin - The way of Non-Violence The Way of Non-Violence
The mob mentality can easily be whipped up by media which directs the focus to those who become scapegoats. (PDF bulletin)
  November
Poor in Spirit
I truly admired her dignity and ability to cook so well using this simple oven. I reflected on the excesses of kitchen appliances of affluent Australians. I wondered do they make for more meaningful family meals? 
(PDF bulletin)
  October
Culture of Peace Bulletin - Life and Hope Life and Hope
Of the 12 million Syrians forced to flee war, half are children. They suffer physically and psychologically. Their education is affected. They lack shelter and safety. (PDF Bulletin)
  September
Listening to God in the Earth Listening to God in the Earth
Many today are mute in the face of the relentless negative impact the current global economic system has on God’s wonderful life-filled creation. (PDF Bulletin)
  August
Culture of Peace Bulletin Life to the World
For those who are paying attention and not living in denial, the life of the world that we inhabit is facing an ecological crisis. (PDF Bulletin)
  July
Culture of Peace Bulletin - Afflicting the Comfortable Afflicting the Comfortable
Prophets “afflict the comfortable”. There are prophets among us in Australia today who are trying to speak the truth about economic justice for the poor and the Earth. Will it take a shock for us to make the effort to shift our position and pay attention to them? (PDF Bulletin)
  June
Culture of Peace Bulletin - Consume with care Consume with care
If we in the wealthy world continue with our current consumption and production patterns we will need three planet Earths which is not possible. (PDF Bulletin)
  May
 Culture of Peace Bulletin - Women Migrant Workers Women Migrant Workers
Mary’s experience was not dissimilar to many women migrant workers in Asia today. She had to leave her country and live in a land alien to her, away from her family and friends. (PDF Bulletin)
  April
Culture of Peace Bulletin - Hope and New Life Hope and New Life
At the time of the Centenary of ANZAC, we must not make the shrines to those who died in that dreadful war, into a new religious cult. We must remember and pray for the dead and the families who still grieve, but also remember the violence that caused their deaths and work instead for peaceful solutions to conflict without resorting to war. (PDF Bulletin)
  March
Culture of Peace Bulletin - We need to change ourselves first We need to change ourselves first
Changing ourselves and our attitudes leads to changing our actions as we contemplate the questions about peace, ecology and justice, “What would Jesus do?
(PDF Bulletin)
 

February

Culture of Peace: Authentic Authority brings Goodness and Peace

Authentic Authority brings Goodness and Peace
In the last six weeks, the media has brought into our living rooms the evil of murder. It is especially at times like this that following the way of Jesus calls us to challenge evil wherever it occurs. (PDF Bulletin)

2014:

 
  December
Straightening the Paths of Racism
You repent not by feeling bad but by thinking and acting differently. (PDF Bulletin)
  November
The Importance of Being Recognised
Very often we reject the “other” as an outsider not in our “in” group. We need to learn the importance of recognising the “Other”. (PDF Bulletin)
  October
The Way of Peace
The fruit of the Gospel is peace. Jesus said, “My peace I give you.” We have to work towards producing peace. (PDF Bulletin)
  September
Choose Peace
Striking terror in people is not brave. It is requires much more courage to respond to violence with active non-violence. (PDF Bulletin)
  August
An ethic of enough
In Australia we can look at the growing gap between the extremely wealthy and the homeless, the unemployed youth, the rural and Aboriginal communities. We have the resources. We need an ethic of enough. (PDF Bulletin)
  July
Serenity in difficult times
Steep rises in electricity and gas costs in Australia will affect everybody including families, parishes, schools, low income earners, social welfare recipients, businesses. It will be tough times ahead for many who can least afford it. (PDF Bulletin)
  June
Raise your voices, not the sea level
"Raise your voices, not the sea level," is the theme of World Environment Day, June 5th. So what does the feast of Pentecost have to do with World Environment Day? (PDF Bulletin)
  May

Real Bread for the Poor
Jubilee Sunday
is on May 18th when churches across Australia pray for a world made new where those struggling under the weight of poverty will be able to live in dignity and peace. Jesus invoked the Jubilee Principle: "Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive those who have debts against us" (Matt 6:12). (PDF Bulletin). YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Jubilee Australia's Sunday Liturgy Resource (PDF)

  April
Living life to the full
It’s in our human nature to be afraid of death. Much of what goes on in our society now comes from this fear: war, the security industry, materialism, the search for agelessness. (PDF Bulletin)
  March
What's in the fridge?
I noticed when I visited rural villages in the Philippines that people tended to go to the market daily to buy their food for each day’s main meal. (PDF Bulletin)
  February
“Christ, the first born of Creation”
How can we better be like Simeon, a grace-filled and thankful person towards God’s special gifts to us?
(PDF Bulletin)

 2013:

 
  December
December: 'Growing a Culture of Peace' Monthly Bulletin “Ready for Life?”
Do we live our lives ready to respond as Jesus would to whatever life dishes up? (PDF Bulletin)
  November
“The Joy of Spontaneous Goodness”
The story of Zaccheus is one of joy. Have you ever experienced the joy of this type of open spontaneity? (PDF Bulletin)
  October
Our Obligation to the Poor
One of the concepts understood and honoured by the early Christians was that it was God’s plan that the things of the earth were to be shared by all. (PDF Bulletin)
  September
Priorities
"In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his/her possessions cannot be my disciple".
(PDF Bulletin)
  August
Ethic of Enough
We can all easily be sucked in to greed and spend too much time guarding our possessions. (PDF Bulletin)
  July
What does working for God’s reign in the world look like today?
We don’t have to look too far to see the opportunities to bring to others the hope that the Gospel inspires in us. (PDF Bulletin)
  June
Sharing Food for All
When many of us in affluent Australia spend more on a cup of coffee or a block of chocolate than others who exist on $2 a day, we are challenged to ask why? How can this happen and how can we do something about it? (PDF Bulletin)
  May
Living Jesus’ Way of Love
On the third Sunday in May, people across Australia unite in heart, mind and spirit to recall and be re-inspired by the ancient Old Testament idea of 'Jubilee', a time when debts were cancelled, slaves were freed and land was redistributed. As Christians, we are called to live in step with the spirit of Jubilee renewal. (PDF Bulletin)
  April
"Unlocking the Door of Fear"
Jesus shows us what we have to do to unlock the door of fear and open up to the possibilities of a being a big-hearted nation, open-hearted people. (PDF Bulletin)
  March
Healthy Soil Produces Good Fruit
“For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none.” We depend on healthy food, therefore we need to look after the trees, the soil and the essential water supply. (PDF Bulletin)
  February
Social Justice is basic to the Gospel
People working for social justice are often rejected in their local situation because they may point to the consequences if we don’t listen and change our ways. (PDF Bulletin)

 2012:

 
  December
Liberation from fear
As families, individuals, parish and school communities, we can all face the challenge of climate change.
(PDF Bulletin)
  November
“Giving Our All ”
Australians gambled more than $170m on Melbourne Cup Day 2012. How much will we spend on Christmas gifts in December? Every 4 seconds a child somewhere on the planet dies. (PDF Bulletin)
  October
“Out of the mouths of babes”
How can we live with the knowledge that there is enough food in the world to feed everybody? (PDF Bulletin)
  September
“My heart and boat people ”
In the social, political climate in Australia today, hardness of heart about people seeking asylum by boat seems to abound. Those who have feelings of compassion about “boat people” are labelled “bleeding hearts”.
(PDF Bulletin)
  August
“God and the stuff of life.”
In our materialistic, competitive culture, it’s a challenge to find time to pull back and reflect on what is the stuff of life? (PDF Bulletin)
  July
Prophets in our own place
Prophets may be looked down on as “trouble makers”. Fr Daniel Berrigan is a 92 year old US priest who has spent a lifetime acting for justice, yet has been jailed many times. (PDF Bulletin)
  June
The big Relationship
Made in God’s image, we are relational beings. God’s relationship with us is enduringly faithful and is pure gift. (PDF Bulletin)
  May
The fruit of justice is peace
Wherever life is diminished by injustice, we are called to contribute in life-giving ways. (PDF Bulletin)
  April
Who are the victims of war?
A US soldier leaves his base and goes around a community at night killing 16 people in their sleep. Who are the victims? (PDF Bulletin)
  February
An App for Listening to Jesus
Like everything, communication technology can be used for good and for evil. How do we discern what the good is? (PDF Bulletin)

 2011:

 
  December
"A Voice in the Wilderness"
Today the wilderness is no longer regarded as a threatening place, but rather a place that has become severely threatened by our greed and abuse.
(PDF Bulletin)
  November
"Short-Termism"
We will be called to account for how we live our lives not by having more, but by how well we love God and our neighbour. (PDF Bulletin)
  October
Bread and Wine to Share
Do we think about where our food comes from, how it is grown, by whom and how much we really need? Do we connect the sacred food symbols of bread and wine with these issues? (PDF Bulletin)
  September
Community Well-Being
We are more than individuals. We belong to a community wherever we are. Remember the saying “No man(woman) is an island!” This involves having a commitment to the common good. (PDF Bulletin)
  August
Take courage
Boats feature many times in the ministry of Jesus. In this Gospel, when the stormy waters caused the disciples in the boat to be afraid, the desire to be with Jesus gave Peter courage to overcome his fear and walk towards him. (PDF Bulletin)
  July
Humility
Humility means being grounded, close to the earth.
(PDF Bulletin)
  June
Discipleship and Earth Stewardship
We can and must live sustainably so that future generations of all species can live on the vibrant planet we have inherited. (PDF Bulletin)
  May
Doubting, Questioning and Challenging
Thomas doubted when others said that Jesus was alive, believing it was for a good reason. He questioned and challenged his community and was honest about seeking the truth. (PDF Bulletin)
  April
Love is the eye
When we see situations of injustice, conflict and environmental destruction, love demands that we don’t turn a blind eye. (PDF Bulletin)
  March
Practising the Gospel
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matt 7: 24). (PDF Bulletin)
  February
Let your light shine
In so many communities there are good people doing great things. They don’t get recognition for what they do. They can even be denigrated as “bleeding hearts”, but they keep on keeping on. (PDF Bulletin)