Killaloe Diocese Apostolic Work Display

Apostolic Work – Friday June 13th, 2019 – Maria Assumpta Hall, Ennis

Apostolic Work Ireland Has been been doing fantastic work now for almost 100 years.  With their labour of love, a true Opus Dei, Opus Manuum, skilled, dedicated, talented and committed lay people and religious pray for and support the work of Irish Missionaries (and others) wherever they serve.


The fruits of the prayer efforts, fund raising and the work of the hands of so many outstanding members makes a huge difference.  The help provided and beautiful work done is a true labour of love and it is so heartening to see goes directly to those who need it.


The Work of the IMU

The umbrella body that in some ways oversees the work and activity of Mission, worldwide is the The Irish Missionary Union. In the near future the name of the IMU is to be changed from IMU to Missio Ireland.


The (IMU) is a collaborative network of 87 Mission sending Congregations and Societies comprised of Sisters, Priests, Brothers and Lay Organisations who are engaged in 84 developing countries.  They have a most informative website with plenty of resources:


Fr John Kilcrann RIP

Very sadly the newly appointed director of WMI Fr John Kilcrann, CSSp died suddenly early this week, God be good to him and may he rest in peace.


Apostolic Work at National and Local Level

There are branches of Apostolic Work in almost all dioceses throughout Ireland and many of the parishes in the diocese.  There is a particularly distinguished interest and tradition in Killaloe diocese which is so heartening to see.  The various branches constantly work hard to encourage new members, even though in recent years with increasing age profile and less people involved in faith based activities the numbers have been struggling to remain the same.


Extraordinary Month of Mission

This year, please God with there is great expectation around the extraordinary month of mission in October. The hope would be that it would add new focus, breath, new life and energy to the work of Mission at local, national and international level, something of a new Pentecost, so to speak, just what we celebrated on Sunday last.


What is The Extraordinary Month of Mission?

So what is this extraordinary month of Mission about? This year Mission Month has even greater significance as Pope Francis has announced it as ‘The Extraordinary Month of Mission’ (EMM). The importance of October for the awareness and financial support of mission is already well established, with Mission Sunday falling on it’s second last Sunday. However, this year it has even greater importance, with Pope Francis specifically asking us to pray and act so that mission and the Church can strengthen and grow.


What is the inspiration for The EMM?

Pope Francis announced the month to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illudon overseas mission. He describes Maximum Illudas a ‘milestone in the evolution of the Church’s missionary work’. It repeats the biblical instruction for Catholics to ‘go to the ends of the earth and preach the Gospel’, while also recognising the importance of training religious people who come from and live in local communities. Maximum Illudhighlights the importance in developing local churches and its people so that they may thrive.


Logo for WMI EMM

The logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 depicts a missionary cross whose traditional colors recall the five continents. The CROSS is the instrument and the effective and powerful sign of the communion between God and humanity for the universality of our mission.



What are the themes and aims of The EMM?

To reignite and re-energise our understanding and awareness of overseas mission, Pope Francis has themed the month ‘Baptised and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world’. For the preparation and implementation of the month, he has outlined four focus areas:

1     A personal encounter with Jesus Christ living in his Church: in the Eucharist, in the Word of God.

2     Testimony: missionary saints, martyrs, and confessors of the faith as an expression of the Church.

3     Missionary formation: biblical, catechetical, spiritual, and theological.

4     Missionary charity.


Therefore, in a nutshell, the aims of The EMM are:

1     To encourage Catholics into a deeper relationship with Jesus through prayer.

2     To look to and learn from the actions and sacrifices made by our Saints, martyrs and living missionaries.

3     To rediscover and renew our understanding of overseas mission. (ad gentes)

4     To financially support mission.


I love the emphasis in Baptised and Sent on the fact that all are called to Mission.  Not just clergy and religious, but all the baptizedfaithful!


What is your role in The EMM?

The Holy Father wants The EMM to be an opportunity for reflection and prayer by the whole Church. He also wants it to be celebrated by as many Catholics as possible. Therefore, all parishes, dioceses, religious congregations, Church organisations and YOU are being asked to get behind and support the month by developing events and initiatives to bring the month to life.


To help, over the coming months World Missions Ireland will work with it’s international offices to provide EMM materials. However, Pope Francis encourages you to live and celebrate this extraordinary month with absolute creativity and freedom.


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.


Brendan O’Brien

Donagh O’Meara

Sr. Ethyl Normyle

Pat O’Neill

Des Hillery

Tom O’Halloran

Tony and Michael Casey (Spiritual Director to Apostolic Work)

Joe Kennedy

John Molloy

Enda Burke in Brazil

Michael Cooney – Zimbabwe

Willie McCormack – Zimbabwe

Martin Keane, Holy Ghost

Michael Reddan, SVD – Argentina – now in Birr

Tom McGrath – Mill Hill

O’Loughlin brothers

Gerry Neylon from Ennis (Columban)


Killaloe Mercy Sisters who worked in various parts of Africa and the U.S




Work of Brendan Moloney for Trócaire

Maureen Kelly, Cora Guinnane and Myself – Trócaire trips.


Parish Book from Ennis

Go make disciples of all nations


Similar book from Dunkerrin Parish


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.


Diocesan Mission Group

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.  They have met several times in the past year and as recently as last night to plan a suitable diocesan liturgy for Mission Sunday in the Cathedral in Ennis.


Fr. Tom O’Halloran

I commend and congratulate the outstanding work of Fr. Tom O’Halloran for the great work he does being coordinator in the diocese of Killaloe for the Pontifical Mission Society.  He coordinates and enthuses every parish each year with their collections and sending out resources.  Even in these recent times of tightening budgets and general fall off in charitable donations – the people of Killaloe have continued to respond with outstanding generosity and interest in this great work.

The sum contributed by the diocese of Killaloe this year is the most generous amount of €66,524.58.  Well done to all involved!


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 saot



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.