On the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, Tuesday 4 October, bishops held a Mass and reception for the many women, men, priests and religious from around the country who assist in the various initiatives, councils, commissions and agencies of the Bishops’ Conference. Many of the five hundred people who assist the bishops in various areas of outreach were present, including those advising and assisting with pastoral care of the family, migrants, prisoners, and those with addictions; in social and international affairs; worship, pastoral renewal and faith development; communications; education and formation.
Speaking at the Mass, Archbishop Eamon Martin drew attention to the words which had inspired Saint Francis; “Go, and repair my Church”. Recalling Pope Francis’ choice of name for his pontificate, he observed the Holy Father’s commitment to the ideals and message of Saint Francis of Assisi – outreach to the poor, promotion of peace and care for the environment. Archbishop Eamon offered the key writings of Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel; Praise be; and The Joy of Love, as the perfect ‘manifesto’ for the work of renewal and new evangelisation in the Church in Ireland in the coming years. Archbishop Martin emphasised “the golden opportunity presented by preparation for the World Meeting of Families 2018 in Dublin for ongoing evaluation and review of the work of the Bishops’ Conference and its commissions.”