At the conclusion of their Autumn 2018 General Meeting in Maynooth, the Irish Bishops’ Conference paid tribute to the work of the Columban missionaries.
In a statement issued on 3 October, the bishops referenced the Centenary of the Missionary Society of St Columban and acknowledged “with prayerful gratitude the great worldwide contribution of the Missionary Society of Saint Columban (the Columban Fathers) which was founded with the Maynooth Mission to China in 1918.”
They said the Columbans were at the forefront of teaching about reconciliation and justice, caring for the earth, our common home, and pointing out how the poorest peoples of the world suffer most from the throwaway culture of greed and waste.
Elsewhere in their statement, the bishops highlighted that October is Mission Month.
The theme for Mission month 2018 is ‘Christian Families are Missionary Families.’
To encourage nationwide participation in this year’s theme, World Missions Ireland (Pope Francis’ official charity for overseas mission) is offering resources on www.wmi.ie and is hosting a number of activities during October:
– ‘Children’s Day of Mission Prayer’ on Friday 12 October;
– ‘Miles for Mission’ in association with the Vincentian Lay Missionaries on Saturday 20 October. This involves a 5 kilometre run, walk, or jog in the Phoenix Park;
– ‘World Mission Sunday’ on 21 October in parishes throughout the country;
– ‘Mission Month Thanksgiving’, a closing event on Saturday 27 October in Saint Mary’s College, Rathmines, will include the celebration of Mass followed by a screening of the documentary Biafra Misean Dearmadta.
Mission Sunday collections are expressions of practical support for dioceses around the world where the Church is too young or is struggling to support itself.
Mission Sunday also helps promote hope and love for the work of missionaries in impoverished and remote communities.
Funds raised help to build much-needed infrastructure, including churches, medical clinics, nurseries and schools.