By Katie Ascough - 19 October, 2019
In 2017, Pope Francis proclaimed October 2019 an Extraordinary Missionary Month, marking the centenary of Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic letter Maximum Illud.
The letter, published on 30 November 1919, is inspired by Jesus’ Great Commission: ‘Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all mankind’ (Mark 16:18).
According to The Irish News, the response to Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Missionary Month has been hugely successful in the Catholic Church across the world. With more than 2,000 Irish men and women currently working in foreign mission and with World Missions Ireland coordinating events in dioceses, parishes, schools, communities, religious orders, and congregations throughout the country, Ireland has certainly been an enthusiastic participant.
Responding to the great call of this month’s extraordinary mission, Dr Aidan Donaldson, author, lecturer, social justice activist, and former chaplain at St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ Grammar School in Belfast, highlights two major events taking place today and tomorrow in Northern Ireland.
The first is a conference today, Saturday 19 October, in St Mary’s University College, Belfast, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Celebrating the richness of the Irish missionary tradition, the conference will begin a conversation seeking to harvest the missionary energy of the past and promote a renewed sense of mission at home.
According to The Irish News, the organisers of the conference are delighted to have three internationally renowned keynote speakers: Joe Humphreys, leading Irish journalist and current assistant news editor with The Irish Times, Fr Paul Kangkai, a priest working in the Diocese of Meath with experience as a missionary in areas affected by the Islamic State organisation Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Dr Lorna Gold, Ireland’s most prominent social justice activist and expert on climate change.
The second event this weekend for Extraordinary Missionary Month is a Mass in St Patrick’s Church, Lisburn, hosted by Apostolic Work on the theme ‘together we are mission’. The Mass will be held at the 2:30 p.m. on Sunday 20 October.
For further details email [email protected].