By editor - 30 September, 2016
Organised by the Society of Missionary Children, this year's event takes place on 14 October at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo.
Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin will lead thousands of schoolchildren in their celebration of the upcoming National Day of Prayer for Children which it is held outside the capital for the first time.
Now in its ninth year, the day, organised by the Society of Missionary Children, and this year it takes place on 14 October, commencing at noon, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo.
National Day of Prayer for Children celebrates and encourages a missionary spirit in children. It works to develop in them a spirit of praying, sharing and caring for other children throughout the world, particularly those suffering through poverty and war.
National Secretary of Missionary Children, Julieann Moran said ahead of the event, “The response from schools in the entire diocese of Elphin has been fantastic and so encouraging. Of course not all children countrywide will be able to travel so they can join us in prayer. Our resource book is available to help everyone pray with us on the day. It provides a ‘Helping Hands’ prayer service, a ‘Children Helping Children’ Mass and the ‘Mission Rosary’, any of which can be used for parish churches, parish centres, schools or individual classrooms.”
“Where there are children there are huge opportunities to enable them to develop missionary hearts. By their nature children do have big generous hearts and this is evident by the kindness shown by Irish children to their little counterparts in the developing world and of course here at home too.”
According to Ms Moran, “Children are all inclusive and love to be part of a global circle of love, prayer and care for those who need it most.”
She said she was also delighted to see that there is still enormous good will towards Missionary Children.
“They love getting involved in our many projects and they enjoy hearing updates from our many mission projects. We can’t wait to see as many little missionaries in Sligo Cathedral as possible.”
She explained that the organisation has launched a nationwide drive to encourage schools to participate in their ‘Mission Globes’ campaign allowing children to donate whatever they can afford to worldwide mission projects.
Thousands of Mission Globes are to be distributed to Irish schools.
Last year, Irish children raised €42,000 which went towards projects in Lesotho, Sierra Leone and the Philippines.
The Society of Missionary Children was established in France in 1843 and encourages Irish children to connect with children in mission lands through the sharing of prayer and material gifts.
The Society’s motto – Children Helping Children – illustrates how Irish children of primary-school age can make small gestures which will help to improve the lives of other children who experience war, famine, poverty and suffering.
The National Day of Prayer for Children is part of the wider celebrations to mark the Mission Month of October.
Some of the participating schools in Sligo’s prayer day are: Achonry National School, Sligo, Co Sligo; Our Lady of Mercy Primary School, Sligo; Scoil Ursula, Sligo.