October is ‘Mission Month’ and this year’s theme is “Christian Families are Missionary Families”.
Welcoming this year’s theme Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA, chair of the bishops’ Council for Missions said, “many families in Ireland have had a member or a neighbour who has served as a missionary outside of Ireland. This month gives us a special opportunity to appreciate their work and to support those currently on mission through our prayer and financial assistance. Pope Francis has invited us to be missionary disciples and so together may we become missionary families and participate in the planned events during this month.”
This weekend, 20 and 21 October, one of only three yearly Papal Collections will take place for ‘World Mission Sunday’ at all Masses throughout the Universal Church. The funds raised help build vital infrastructure, including churches, medical clinics, nurseries and schools in developing communities.
In particular, during 2018, Pope Francis’ official charity for overseas mission in Ireland, World Missions Ireland, is appealing to people of faith to support struggling communities like those found in Ethiopia. This Saturday’s ‘Miles for Mission’ walk/run in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, will help raise funds to support the children of Atse primary school located in one of the most challenging neighbourhoods in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly will be in attendance and will participate in the 5k event.
Father Martin Kelly CSSp, director of World Missions Ireland said, “on World Mission Sunday, through their prayers, communities have the chance to join with missionaries in communion and compassion. Through giving, they are responding to Christ’s call to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. This is why this Sunday, World Missions Ireland on behalf of Pope Francis, implores all communities to dig a little deeper and pray a little stronger.”
In this, the centenary year of the Missionary Society of Saint Columban (the Columban Fathers), the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference acknowledges the great worldwide contribution of the Columban Fathers. The society was founded upon the Maynooth Mission to China in 1918. Over the last one hundred years, the Columban Missionaries have been to the forefront of highlighting how the poorest peoples of the world suffer most from the throwaway culture of greed and waste.