By Sean Ryan - 13 October, 2016
The Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, Dr Kieran O’Reilly, will lead an inaugural sponsored walk later this month to mark the huge contribution of Irish missionaries abroad.
The walk, being held as part of the World Missions Ireland (WMI) campaign to mark Mission Month, will take place in the Phoenix Park on 22 October.
Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly will be joined on the day by his Excellency, Mr Richard Opembe, the Kenyan Ambassador to Ireland, as well as missionaries who have served throughout the world.
Proceeds from the walk will go towards the Love and Hope Centre for people with HIV/AIDS in Nakuru, Kenya. The centre, co-founded by Franciscan Missionary Sr Patricia Speight from Belfast, cares for the most impoverished and destitute people in Nakuru. The centre is an expression of a desire for a home-based care programme for those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
The centre provides awareness programmes, HIV and AIDS education, and counselling and support for orphans and vulnerable children. It also cares for displaced people. Sr Patricia says that funds like those provided by World Missions Ireland are vital, and help ease the “constant financial strain”. She says, “We cannot rely solely on the goodwill of volunteers; it is unjust, and so outside help like that provided by World Missions Ireland is a lifeline.”
Sally McEllistrim, PR Manager for WMI, says: “We are delighted that Archbishop Kieran is joining us and the presence of the Kenyan Ambassador is wonderful too, given the huge numbers of Irish missionaries with links to Kenya. We are hoping that our event will be a lovely occasion for people to come together, enjoy the missionary camaraderie and help raise funds for a wonderful cause as well. This event will give us time perhaps to reflect on our own ‘missionary walk in life’ and the imprint we are making. It will be a fun occasion too as missionaries have a wealth of wonderful stories and so we raise spirits as we raise funds.”
Sponsorship cards are available by contacting [email protected].