Speaking ahead of Mission Sunday, Bishop Kieran O’Reilly of Killaloe, a member of the Bishops’ Council for Missions said, “The 2013 theme for Mission Sunday ‘Growing in Faith’ is appropriate as we come to the end of the universal Year of Faith. It also acknowledges the first encyclical of Pope Francis entitled Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), which was published last July. On Mission Sunday the work of the approximately 1,500 Irish born Catholic missionaries – and all missionaries throughout the world – is rightly recognised and celebrated. World Mission Sunday provides an opportunity to give thanks for them and the work they have done and continue to do. It is also an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to the Church’s missionary activity, through prayer, sacrifice and financial help.”
In October 2012, Irish Catholics contributed more than €2 million to the special Mission Sunday collection. Contributions are used in their entirety to be distributed to as many as 1,100 young Churches which are supported by the generosity of Churches that are better off. Funds raised are used to assist young Churches and missionaries in helping communities in need, both spiritually and materially, with contributions being used to build simple mission churches, to educate seminarians and to assist in the formation of catechists and lay leaders. The Mission Sunday gift is also used for the building of health clinics for children, emergency aid in times of war or natural disaster and to assist missionaries in their efforts to care for refugees.
Bishop Kieran O’Reilly thanked all those who have supported the Church’s missionaries over the years notwithstanding our harsh economic climate at home. Concerning this year’s collection Bishop O’Reilly said, “I ask the faithful to support the Church’s missionaries during this Sunday’s Mission Sunday collection which will take place in churches throughout Ireland and the world. The Mission Sunday collection is about supporting young churches and missionaries in meeting the spiritual and material needs of women, men and children in poorer countries. Last year €2 million was raised during the national Mission Sunday collection and it funded a range of projects in Mission Dioceses in Africa and Asia, including India, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Sudan. I wish to echo the important words of Pope Francis who has asked all of us to be ‘missionaries of God’s love and tenderness and mercy’.”
RTÉ to broadcast Mission Sunday Mass
People from Sri Lanka, Ghana, Pakistan, Zambia, Grenada and Ireland will gather to celebrate the Eucharist in RTÉ One studios in Donnybrook, Dublin, this Sunday morning. This Mission Sunday Mass will be transmitted live from 11.00am and it has been organised by the Presentation Brothers. The congregation in the studio will include missionaries and returned missionaries, both lay and religious.