- “From every parish in Ireland men and women have travelled literally to the ends of the earth as missionaries … It is an involvement that we can all be rightly proud of” – Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly
Pope Francis has announced October 2019 as an Extraordinary Month of Mission to mark the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud on overseas mission. Mission Month 2019 will be an extra-special month of prayer and action to help the faithful to rediscover the meaning and importance of mission in the modern world. Schools, religious orders and congregations, dioceses, parishes, communities and individuals are all being invited by Pope Francis to get behind this worldwide Church initiative.
Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly has welcomed the Extraordinary Mission Month saying, ‘I welcome this extra-special month of prayer and action. From every parish in Ireland men and women have travelled literally to the ends of the earth as missionaries. Our missionaries have contributed enormously to the mission entrusted to the Church by the Lord. It is an involvement that we can all be rightly proud of. As Pope Francis notes ‘Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!’’
World Missions Ireland is responsible for the coordination of the Extraordinary Month of Mission. Julieann Moran, National Secretary, commented, ‘As the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission, we were very excited about this initiative. When an ‘extraordinary’ year or month is declared, the Pope is asking us to become more focused and attentive during this special time. Looking at Maximum Illud we see a request that is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago – a request for us to explore and deliver new ways to bring the message of Jesus to an ever-changing world.’
World Missions Ireland has created an ‘Extraordinary Mission Month Facts & Toolkit’ resource, available to download from their website at www.wmi.ie.
Notes to Editors
- Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA is Archbishop of Cashel & Emly and Chair of the Bishops’ Council for Missions.
- World Missions Ireland is the Church’s official charity for overseas mission and is part of a worldwide network of 120 offices under the coordination of The Pontifical Missions Societies.
- World Missions Ireland’s main event, the papal collection World Mission Sunday, takes place on the penultimate Sunday of October. Throughout October of ‘Mission Month’, WMI runs events and fundraisers to heighten awareness and support the work of missionaries overseas.
- Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud highlighted the need for missionaries to disassociate from the ideas and consequences of empire and colonialism while asking them to support local people for local church, so that ultimately, they could independently guide the faith of their own communities.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444 and Katie Crosby 00353 (0) 86 862 3298