Last weekend we had Fr Emilian with us. A native of East Africa and a priest of the Rosminian Order, he spoke to us of his Order’s Missionary Work in his own country and beyond.
I think all of us who heard him speak were impressed, not least because deep down he doesn’t enjoy this role of seeking assistance and would much prefer to be in a parish in his own country, though he freely admits his enjoyment in meeting people here in Ireland.
That was one of the lovely points he made, that his first attraction to priesthood is attributed to the work of Irish Missionaries in his country. His mother worked for them and was supported by them and, somewhere in all of that, he felt the desire to become a priest. His vocation then, is very much the fruits of the Missionary lives of some of our own countrymen.
It is these men and women of “mission” we think of today and support through our prayer and financial support. Fewer of them might now be priests or religious but rather lay men and women with a variety of skills and a deep-rooted faith, who see the value of sharing the Gospel message with others.
God bless their work.