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Hundreds of Irish Missionaries gathered at All Hallows College from June 5th -6th to explore the reality of Mission Today and Tomorrow. International Speakers from around the world addressed the delegates and discussed the role of missionaries in building peace, sustaining development and the challenge of supporting the local missionaries as Irish missionaries return home to retire.
Lay missionaries as the future of mission from Ireland to the global south, were discussed in depth on the second day of the conference. The value of lay missionaries to hosting religious communities or congregations, was presented by Jane Mellet, a returned lay missionary who spent time in southern India with the Salesian Lay Missionary organisation, SAVIO. Ms Mellet spoke of the understated value of ‘wasting time’ with the young and the poor and how the presence of lay missionaries can act as a catalyst in hosting communities as people gather together to host and to share with a stranger.
VLM was represented at the conference by Mary Anne Stokes, Fr. Stephen Monaghan CM and Paul Quinn. The text of addresses and the papers delivered at the conference will soon be available from www.allhallows.ie