Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly has paid tribute to Irish missionaries ahead of an Extraordinary Month of Mission to be celebrated in October. 

Pope Francis has announced next October as an Extraordinary Month of Mission to mark the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud on overseas mission.  Mission Month 2019 will be an extra-special month of prayer and action to help the faithful to rediscover the meaning and importance of mission in the modern world.  Schools, religious orders and congregations, dioceses, parishes, communities and individuals are all being invited by Pope Francis to get behind this worldwide Church initiative.

Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly has welcomed the Extraordinary Mission Month by paying tribute to Irish missionaries down through the years. He said, “I welcome this extra-special month of prayer and action.  From every parish in Ireland men and women have travelled literally to the ends of the earth as missionaries.  Our missionaries have contributed enormously to the mission entrusted to the Church by the Lord.  It is an involvement that we can all be rightly proud of.  As Pope Francis notes ‘Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!’’

World Missions Ireland is responsible for the coordination of the Extraordinary Month of Mission. They are the official charity for overseas mission and are part of a worldwide network of 120 offices under the coordination of The Pontifical Missions Societies. World Missions Ireland’s main event, the papal collection World Mission Sunday, takes place on the penultimate Sunday of October.  They also run events and fundraisers to heighten awareness and support the work of missionaries overseas.

Julieann Moran, National Secretary, commented, “As the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission, we were very excited about this initiative.  When an ‘extraordinary’ year or month is declared, the Pope is asking us to become more focused and attentive during this special time.  Looking at Maximum Illud we see a request that is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago – a request for us to explore and deliver new ways to bring the message of Jesus to an ever-changing world.”

World Missions Ireland has created an ‘Extraordinary Mission Month Facts & Toolkit’ resource, available to download from their website at www.wmi.ie.

ENDS