In a statement released after their autumn meeting, the Catholic bishops of Ireland have appealed to Catholics in Ireland to pray the rosary this month “for the protection of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.”
“October is the month of the Holy Rosary. Guided by Pope Francis who
has recommended the Rosary as a form of ‘spiritual medicine’ saying, ‘it
is good for your soul, for your whole life’,” the bishops invited
families, parishes and religious congregations to pray the Rosary this
month for the protection of human life.
In the context of the ongoing debate on the Eighth Amendment, they
had discussed the sanctity of human life at all stages.
compassionate society promotes care and protection of all unborn human
life and recognises the equal right to life of the mother,” they said,
commending the work of Cura, the Church’s crisis pregnancy agency, which
marks 40 years of service next year.
bishops placed particular emphasis on the need for the budget to support
low income and single parent families. They praised the pastoral work
of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the focus of its pre-budget
“In terms of families and specifically childcare, recent cuts to one
parent family payment have reduced incomes of many lone parents in
employment; and have made it more difficult for others to take up work,
education or training,” they said. They called on legislators to
“prioritise the needs of low income families, and target resources
towards social housing and the homeless in next week’s annual budgetary
allocation of State resources.”
October is Mission month. While there are almost 1,200 Irish
missionaries serving throughout the world, the theme for 2016 Mission
month and World Mission Sunday on 23 October stresses the vocation of everyone to mission: “Every Christian is a missionary”.
their meeting, the bishops announced that Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly of
Cashel & Emly would lead the inaugural ‘Miles for Mission’ walk in
Phoenix Park, Dublin, to raise funds for the Love and Hope Centre
for people living with HIV/Aids in Nakuru, Kenya, on Saturday 22
October. They appealed to people to support the country-wide collection
for Irish missionaries the next day, World Mission Sunday, 23 October.
The 9th World Meeting of Families will
take place in Dublin from 22 to 26 August 2018.
The bishops announced
that the official preparations for the event will begin on 22 October
2016 with a day-long conference entitled ‘The Joy of Love, Amoris Laetitia and the World Meeting of Families in Ireland’.
The conference will take place at DCU Saint Patrick’s Drumcondra
Campus in Dublin. At the event, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh and
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will formally launch preparations for the
2018 meeting, joined by representatives of dioceses and parishes from
around the country, as well as various groups who support marriage and
offer pastoral outreach to families.
On the topic of vocations, the bishops have agreed to establish a National Vocations Office
to offer support, networking and training to vocation directors in
Ireland, both on a regional and national level. As a shared central
resource, the new office will act as a knowledge centre for best
practice, as well as providing continuity of memory in relation to all
The mission of the National Vocations Office aims to
build a culture of vocation, to promote specific vocations, and to
support those who work in the pastoral care of vocations, they said.
In the run-up to the establishment of this new office, Bishop
Alphonsus Cullinan and a delegation from the Council for Vocations of
the Bishops’ Conference will attend the International Congress on
Priestly Vocations, which will take place in Rome from 19 to 21 October.