Mission Sunday (18 October 2015) gives parishes an opportunity to celebrate the work of spreading the Gospel of mercy and serving the needy throughout the world. The occasion highlights the work of Irish religious and lay missionaries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In 2014, Irish Catholics donated more than €1.78 million in parish appeals on Mission Sunday. This includes a contribution of €105,679 from the Diocese of Meath.
Bishop Michael Smith has recently appointed Fr Colm Browne as Director of Missions in the Diocese of Meath. A native of Navan, Fr Browne currently serves as Curate in Dunshaughlin and Culmullen. During his nine-year ministry in Mullingar, he was Chaplain to the Apostolic Works Societies, which play a key role in supporting Irish missionaries abroad.
The Mission Sunday collection is distributed to as many as 1,100 young Churches worldwide. Contributions are used to build simple mission churches, to educate seminarians, female religious novices, catechists and lay leaders. The Mission Sunday collection is also used for building health facilities for children and adults as well as for providing emergency aid in times of war or natural disaster and to assist missionaries in their efforts to care for refugees.
There are currently around 1,300 Irish born missionaries serving throughout the world. Parishioners are invited to remember them in prayer and to pray for the communities where they work.
One such lay missionary is Alison Maguire from Mullingar (pictured above), who worked with several Church organisations in Tanzania during the summer of 2015. Alison will speak at Masses in the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar on Mission Sunday, describing the good work of the missionaries she witnessed and the valuable contribution that donations from Ireland make on the ground.