Bishops welcome ‘Growing in Faith’ as the theme for World Mission Sunday 2013

18 Oct 2013

Bishops welcome ‘Growing in Faith’ as the theme for World Mission Sunday 2013

“Missionary spirit is not only about geographical territories, but about peoples, cultures and individuals, because the ‘boundaries’ of faith do not only cross places and human traditions, but the heart of each man and each woman.” – Pope Francis

  • RTÉ One television to broadcast special Mission Sunday Mass from its Donnybrook studios, Dublin, at 11.00am this Sunday
  • See for video reflection by Bishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA on the unique contribution of the Church’s missionary activity, through prayer, sacrifice and financial help

World Mission Sunday takes place on Sunday next 20 October as part of Mission Month.  The theme for World Mission Sunday in Ireland for 2013 is ‘Growing in Faith’.

Speaking ahead of Mission Sunday, Bishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA, Bishop of Killaloe and 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 generously 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.

The introductory video features the work of the Edmund Rice Action Camps filmed at Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh in Bishopstown, Cork with images from Mardyke House, and Mount Saint Joseph in Cork city.  The choir will be drawn from students from Coláiste Muire in Cobh.

Father Patrick Relihan, a school chaplain in Youghal, County Cork, will be the celebrant for the Mass.  Father Patrick is a past-pupil of the Presentation Brothers.

The Mass broadcast on RTÉ One television can also be viewed on  The broadcast may be heard on LW Radio 252 and on RTÉ’s DAB (digital) service.

Special video reflection on

In a special video for Mission Sunday, Bishop Kieran O’Reilly, SMA, introduces this year’s theme for Mission Sunday.  He also reflects on the legacy of Irish missionaries down through the years.  The video is available to watch on and on

Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday

The following are some excerpts from the message of Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday 2013.  A link to the full text of his message is provided below:

“Missionary spirit is not only about geographical territories, but about peoples, cultures and individuals, because the ‘boundaries’ of faith do not only cross places and human traditions, but the heart of each man and each woman.”

“The Second Vatican Council emphasized in a special way how the missionary task, that of broadening the boundaries of faith, belongs to every baptized person and all Christian communities; since ‘the people of God lives in communities, especially in dioceses and parishes, and becomes somehow visible in them, it is up to these to witness Christ before the nations’ (Ad Gentes, 37).  Each community is therefore challenged, and invited to make its own, the mandate entrusted by Jesus to the Apostles, to be his ‘witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8) and this, not as a secondary aspect of Christian life, but as its essential aspect: we are all invited to walk the streets of the world with our brothers and sisters, proclaiming and witnessing to our faith in Christ and making ourselves heralds of his Gospel.  I invite Bishops, Priests, Presbyteral and Pastoral Councils, and each person and group responsible in the Church to give a prominent position to this missionary dimension in formation and pastoral programmes, in the understanding that their apostolic commitment is not complete unless it aims at bearing witness to Christ before the nations and before all peoples.”

“The Church – I  repeat once again – is not a relief organization, an enterprise or an NGO, but a community of people, animated by the Holy Spirit, who have lived and are living the wonder of the encounter with Jesus Christ and want to share this experience of deep joy, the message of salvation that the Lord gave us. It is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church in this path.”


Notes to Editors

  • The full text of the message from Pope Francis can be accessed at the following link
  • See and  for more information on Mission Sunday and the work of the Council for Missions of the Irish Episcopal Conference including the National Mission Council and World Missions Ireland.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678