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Viatores Christi will celebrate six decades of lay mission and development 

By Katie Ascough - 21 February, 2020

Mayo woman Gena Harty with one of the children she cares for in Haiti (Pic: Viatores Christi)

Viatores Christi is an Irish-based development organisation supporting and working within the faith-based international development sector.

It works with over 30 partners across a wide range of sectors, focusing mainly on eastern and southern Africa, but with projects in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Viatores Christi addresses needs through project support and, when necessary, through the recruitment, training and placement of skilled volunteers.

Its mission is to work in solidarity with partner organisations to improve the lives of local people by improving access to basic services. Viatores Christi was set up as a lay missionary association in 1960 and the first Viatores Christi members participated in pastoral work as volunteers during holiday periods in England and Scotland, helping Irish emigrants with their new lives.  

In 1960, the first members went on assignment to Nigeria, and in 1961 members departed for Peru, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The organisation has supported thousands of projects and sent over 2500 volunteers or development workers into the field since its inception.

Today, Viatores Christi’s faith-based approach is one of journeying in solidarity with the poor and marginalised in the world. While it is rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition, its development and pastoral work is open to all faiths and those respectful of the organisation’s ethos.

Viatores Christi will be celebrating 60 years of lay mission and development at its Dublin headquarters on Saturday 29 February. According to the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference website, all are welcome to 8 Cabra Road, Phibsboro, Dublin 7 from 2.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. for refreshments and an afternoon of stories from Viatores Christi missions over the decades. These will be shared through personal testimony, photographs and exhibits, which will explore mission and development past, present and into the future.

The mission stories will be shared by Viatores Christi volunteers Carmel Colcough, Mary and Thomas Walsh, Anne Nagle and Michael Long, who will be joined by Viatores Christi CEO Shane Halpin. For more information, click here

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