Address for annual diocesan Apostolic Work Display

Apostolic Work – Friday June 15th – Ennis, Scout Hall

Apostolic Work Ireland Has been working since 1923 as committed lay people and religious to pray for and support the work of Irish Missionaries (and others) wherever they serve.

The fruits of the fund raising and the work of the hands of so many outstanding members makes a huge difference.  Help is given directly to those who need it.

There are branches in 18 dioceses throughout Ireland and they constantly work hard to encourage new members.


Killaloe Groups


We are so fortunate in the diocese of Killaloe that there is such a huge interest & a tradition of parish Apostolic Work groups. I see evidence of that in so many Parishes on my travels & really enjoy exploring the fruit of their great work.  The displays are always most colorful, interesting, celebratory, social & faith events in individual parishes & are well supported by neighboring branches around the diocese.


Killaloe Mission Link

Along with and coupled with the great work of the Killaloe Apostolic Work Society there has been a great link also with so many of the currently serving priests of the diocese who have worked on missionary projects, mainly in Africa and places like Missionvale. It has been so heartening, interesting and good for me to hear of the great work and continuing interest of so many clergy and religious in this area.  It is also great to see the work of a newly formed mission group in the diocese under the excellent guidance and facilitation of Fr. Tom O’Halloran, a group of people with an interest in mission meeting regularly to foster the spirit of Mission in the Church of Killaloe today.




The Apostolic Work movement in Ireland developed against a backdrop of burgeoning religious and missionary zeal throughout Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This fervor manifested itself in Ireland in the foundation of five new missionary institutes:


  • The Maynooth Mission to China (Columban Fathers)
  • The Columban Sisters
  • The Holy Rosary Sisters
  • The Kiltegan Fathers
  • The Medical Missionaries of Mary.


Lay people too became increasingly involved in religious work at home and in supporting missionary work. They formed the following organisations:


  • The Association for the Propagation of the Faith
  • The Legion of Mary
  • The Society of the Holy Childhood
  • The association which was to become known as Apostolic Work.


Aims And Funding


The aim of the Association was to offer prayers, Masses, Holy Communion, Holy Hours and other religious practices as spiritual gifts for the missions, as well as collecting and dispatching material gifts such as Mass-kits, sacred vessels, sets of vestments and other Church requirements, and money when requested. The Association’s funds were derived from donations, fundraising and from subscriptions of £1 a year from honorary members.


The Name Of The Association


Originally named the Catholic Women’s Missionary League (CWML), the Association’s name went through some different changes before the final version emerged as Apostolic Work.


Methods of Fundraising

Provision of materials, vestments, sacred vessels, funding for churches, education and medical aid, among other things could not be achieved without the dedication and commitment of the many members over almost the past 100 years. The time taken to fundraise via church gate collections, sponsored walks, sales of works etc allows the society to continue to support the important work carried out by the many missionary priests and sisters around the world.


Some of the methods of Fundraising in Dioceses include.

  • Sale of work
  • Church door collections
  • Honorary members
  • Bingo
  • Whist drives
  • Sale of Christmas wreaths
  • Christmas table centres
  • Coffee mornings
  • Cake sales
  • Car boot sales
  • Making and selling of St Brigid’s Crosses
  • Lenten lunch
  • Fashion shows
  • Sale of knitted chicks (i.e. and Easter egg with a knitted cover)
  • Pub quiz
  • Christmas craft sales
  • Bring and buy sales
  • Wine and cheese parties
  • Concerts

Among other things of course!


Items Dispatched to the Missions include

  • Tabernacles
  • Mass Kits
  • Sick Call Sets
  • Altar Books
  • Nativity Sets
  • Altar Linens
  • Sacred Vessels
  • Vestments/Albs
  • Divine Office
  • Liturgical Goods
  • Stoles


Countries helped include…

Kenya, Brazil, Zambia, Sudan, Cameroon, Tanzania, Mexico, Zambia and Burma.


Missions supported include…

Mill Hill Missionaries, Columban Missionaries, Divine Word Missionaries, Society of African Missions, Kiltegan Fathers,  St Patricks Missionary, , Medical Missionaries of Mary.


Acknowledgement of good  work done

What a great and honourable tradition of outstanding work & commitment to Gospel values of mission, outreach, sharing, love & generosity to those in need.



This annual event is always a great celebration of mission, of what it means to be apostolic & a celebration of the dignity & talent of work & its results.


Congratulations to all involved in the great work done & that continues to be done by so many in so many branches around the diocese of Killaloe.


Gura fada buan sibh agus go gcúite Dia bhur saothair libh.