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Mass appreciation for Mission Month

DIOCESES, parishes and schools throughout Scotland are set to celebrate Extraordinary Mission Month 2019 with a number of very special Masses.

With Pope Francis himself having designated the regular Mission Month of October this year as Extraordinary Mission Month, Motherwell Diocese has been at the forefront of heeding the Holy Father’s call to shine a light on the missions, our missionaries and the work of Missio Scotland, the Scottish arm of the Pontifical Mission Societies—the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission.

Following on from the success of the pilot Mass for Missionary Children celebrated by Bishop John Keenan of Paisley in St Mirin’s Cathedral last year, the Bishops of Scotland designated the first Friday of October as the day for school communities to celebrate a Mass for Missionary Children on an annual basis.

To that end, Motherwell Diocese has organised a Mass for Missionary Children at St Francis Xavier’s Church in Carfin, slightly earlier, on Tuesday October 1 at 1pm, which is expected to have children from schools throughout the diocese in attendance. In addition, Bishop Joseph Toal—who will be the principle celebrant on the day—will also bless our Missio Scotland Champion Badges before commissioning the Primary School Champions themselves.

“Everything is in place and everyone is really looking forward to the Mass,” Claire O’Neill, RE Co-ordinator for Motherwell Diocese, said. “The Mass will feature music from the St Andrew and St Bride’s High School Choir, while the pupils from St Theresa’s Primary School will be doing the bidding prayers, which will be lovely. We also cannot wait to see the children who will champion Missio Scotland in their school communities being given their badges and commissioned on the day.”

On Friday October 4, Missio Scotland’s National Director, Fr Vincent Lockhart (above), will celebrate a Mass for Missionary Children in his own parish of Corpus Christi in Calderbank, which promised to be a colourful occasion to and will also incorporate short stories on some of our Missionary Saints (below).

With parishes throughout Scotland coming together to celebrate World Mission Sunday on October 20 this year, a very special Mass will be held at 3pm in Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral in Motherwell. Archbishop Leo Cushley, the President of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Scotland, will be the principal celebrant at the Mass, which, it is hoped, will act as the catalyst for celebrating a similar Mass on World Mission Sunday in a different diocese each year.

“Each of the three Masses which will see the celebration of the Extraordinary Month of Mission are unique and say something essential about where sharing in Christ’s mission comes from,” Fr Lockhart said. “The young people’s Mass in Carfin, celebrated by Bishop Toal, and the Missionary Children’s Mass taking place in parishes on the first Friday of October show that ‘mission’ is not just for the adults in the Church.

"For Pope Francis, young people have a boundless enthusiasm for life and for committing themselves to an ideal together. They, more than anyone, can demonstrate the joy of the Gospel proclaimed with one voice. The Mass in Motherwell Cathedral will be a national celebration where everyone is invited to show the unity of the Church and its message: young and old, lay people and clergy, bishops and missionary congregations. That unity proclaims Christ and the Good News that can give hope to all of humanity.”

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