The contribution of the Diocese of Meath to missionary projects features prominently in Matt Moran’s “The Legacy of Irish Missionaries Lives On”, launched last Wednesday 19 October 2016 in Dublin by Senator Ronan Mullen.
The book launch was attended by Brigid Weir, who coordinates a twinning project with Myanmar on behalf of Bishop Michael Smith. Also present were Archbishop Paul Grawng from Mandalay in Myanmar and Fr Pat Raleigh SSC from Dalgan Park, Navan.
Irish religious leaders on the missions are now more at the heart of global decision-making where, through their extensive networks in the developing world, they advocate about living conditions there, abuses in civil rights and social justice, and climate change. This is evidenced by the remarkable work still being undertaken by over 1,100 Irish missionaries, whose stories are retold in the book.
The author, Matt Moran, has taken great care in presenting a deep understanding of the intrinsic values that faith brings to development and humanitarian aid.
The new outreach promoted by Bishop Michael Smith is recognised and praised in the book, noting the imaginative and generous response of people in the Diocese of Meath. Bishop Smith has channeled considerable support from people in the Diocese of Meath to countries such as Honduras, Myanmar and Zambia in a planned and systematic manner, using local Church networks which are often best placed to address not only the immediate but also the long term needs of developing communities.
Brigid Weir, coordinator of the diocesan twinning programme has visited Myanmar to monitor and report on progress. When she met the Finance Officer of the UN High Commission for Refugees in Myanmar he spoke with great praise for the work that the Catholic Church was doing to provide basic needs and education for the refugees. In fact, he said, most of the support and concern for the refugees was provided by the Catholic Church.
“The Legacy of Irish Missionaries Lives On” is available in bookshops and online at www.onstream.ie. Profit from sales will go to World Missions Ireland for missionary activity in the global south. The book was launched to coincide with Mission Sunday on 23 October 2016. Last year Irish Catholics contributed more than €1.7 million on Mission Sunday, including a contribution of € 99,700 from the Diocese of Meath.