The Church must be in a “permanent state of mission”, Fr Declan Hurley told an assembly in Mullingar last weekend. Fr Hurley was speaking at the first Eucharistic Adoration Assembly last Saturday.

“Pope Francis is calling each and every member of the Church to have a missionary outreach” Fr Hurley told the packed conference room in Bloomfield Hotel. “Our joy at being members of the Church must be shared. We must be in a permanent state of mission. As adorers, let us talk about why we love adoration, let us invite others to encounter Christ in adoration, and let us have joy at being in the presence of a love that is transforming us.”

The priority of the Church reaching out to people was reflected in comments from Mullingar Cathedral Administrator, Fr Padraig McMahon, responding to the latest figures on religious affiliation, published by the Central Statistics Office last week.

“The figures tell us that Catholics make up 85% of the town’s population, according to the Census 2016 report” Fr McMahon noted. “It is really encouraging that such large numbers of people continue to consider themselves Catholic, despite much of the pressure from a widespread secular agenda.”

“We are confident in our mission and the parish is committed to playing its part in the life of Mullingar town and being there for our parishioners, especially young families, in their efforts to live the faith” Fr McMahon said.

“I’d like to see some statistics relating to the level of volunteerism in our communities” Fr McMahon added. “I think these figures would show the enormous contribution Catholics make to a whole range of social and charitable activities, such as the hospice movement, responding to homelessness, providing high quality schools and social cohesion. It is widely acknowledged that people of faith are among the most socially conscious in every community. We need to build on this good work, even if it is often deliberately overlooked in the secular and political world.”