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Theme for Mission Month October 2011 is ‘Together in Faith’

  • Missionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity – Pope Benedict
  • On Mission Sunday we remember the Irish-born missionaries who help Christian communities in other parts of the world – Bishop O’Reilly
  • Our theme this year in Ireland is ‘Together in Faith’ with a focus on the newly independent Republic of South Sudan – Father Howley

October has been designated as Mission Month by the Catholic Church.  World Missions Ireland – the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies – brings the prayers, solidarity and financial help of the Church in Ireland to Christian communities in other parts of the world, especially those in greatest need.

In his message ahead of Mission Sunday on 23 October next, Pope Benedict XVI has declared that “Missionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive.  Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!  It is in commitment to the Church’s universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support.”

Welcoming ‘Together in Faith’ as the theme for Mission Month 2011, Bishop Colm O’Reilly, chair of the Irish Bishops’ Council for Missions, said “October is a special time in the Church calendar as it allows us to reflect on mission, as well as to renew our missionary work for today.  In particular on Mission Sunday we remember all missionaries but especially Irish-born missionaries.  Let these missionaries, and the many Irish lay volunteers supporting their pastoral work, be the focus of our prayers as we celebrate Mission Sunday.”

Father Gary Howley SPS, Director of World Missions Ireland, said, “Our mission theme for 2011 ‘Together in Faith’ focuses on the newly independent Republic of South Sudan.  At present there are 1,762 Irish missionaries working in 84 countries, including in South Sudan.  Mission Month is a time to celebrate our faith, the work of all missionaries and of all those who make this work possible.”

Bishop O’Reilly continued, “Let us remember too in our prayers those in need in our own families and communities and around the world and we thank in particular the members of the Apostolic Work Society, all over Ireland, who give such valuable support to the work of our missionaries.

“Specifically on Mission Sunday we are asked to put aside – for that day – our support for our favourite missionary group or project so as to show our solidarity with the younger Churches throughout the world, especially those with the least resources.”