Some 25 Ethnic Chaplaincies, Eparchies and Missions gathered at St Columban’s , Knowle, on 6 March for a major Conference on“Mission Today”.  The Conference was organised by Mgr Daniel McHugh and was attended by Archbishop Bernard Longley.

The keynote address was by Fr Eamonn Mulcahy and focused on the nature of the Church as a community that reaches out.

He said: ”we never graduate in discipleship until  the day we die”. The task for Catholic Ethnic Communities and our Parishes is to bring this to fruition.”

Father Mark Woodford of the Society of St John  Chrysostom led the group in praying an English translation of the Office of Consolation of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Chapel of St Columban.

Then after a brief time in the Garden of St Columban’s a lovely lunch  was enjoyed by all.

After  lunch Neville Kyrke-Smith of Aid to the Church in need spoke of the “suffering Church.” Many  from the Diaspora Church in our midst today come from lands familiar with persecution, where ACN has supported rebirth. Finally, Father Anthony Dampson spoke of the value of the Overseas Clergy Orientation Course, which helps priests from abroad to settle in to mission in Britain, a very different experience from the lands from which they come.

Archbishop Longley concluded the day , linking it to the developing vision for the Diocese in the years to come. He said the Chaplaincy Priests have an important part to play in the future of the Diocese.”

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Ethnic Chaplaincies, Eparchies and Missions Day