On the Feast of the Ugandan Martyrs – St Charles Lwanga & Companions – on Saturday 3 June, we joined supporters and volunteers at a special Mission Mass for Shrewsbury Diocese. During his talk, Fr Dermot MHM explored what it is to be missionary, and the vital part our supporters in England and Wales play in making our global mission possible.

The Shrewsbury Mass took place at St Michael and All Angels Church (Parish of Saint Philip Neri) in Birkenhead. It was presided over by Bishop Mark Davies and concelebrated by Canon Niall Mullaley, Canon Christopher Matthews, Fr Anthony Grace (Missio Diocesan Director), Fr Dermot Byrne MHM, Fr Philip Adede Amek MHM, and Deacons John Birch and Patrick Regan.

In his homily, Bishop Mark shared that we gather after Pentecost conscious of our mission to bring God’s Word to the whole world. He mentioned the example of the Martyrs of Uganda, and discussed Missio’s role in enabling the Gospel to be proclaimed. He finished by saying:

‘Christian missionary commitment comes not from men or any human motive but from heaven itself.’

After Mass, Bishop Mark presented a gold award, for 40 years of service, to the Missio Local Secretary Margaret from St Peter’s Catholic Church, Hazel Grove. Margaret and her team of 17 volunteers are doing amazing work for Missio in their area.

Thank you, Margaret and all the team so much for your wonderfulsupport!

Lessons from Uganda

We were especially lucky to welcome Fr Dermot Byrne MHM, who spoke powerfully at the end of Mass of his personal experiences in Uganda. He shared that, in the parish he was based in, pilgrims on their way to the martyrdom site of Charles Lwanga and Companions used to stop for refreshments and hospitality, particularly leading up to their Feast Day on 3 June. He explained that the equivalent organisation of the Union of Catholic Mothers would provide food for the pilgrims.

Fr Dermot was struck by the fact that the Ugandan Martyrs were new converts to the Faith. The first Catholic missionaries arrived in Uganda in 1879, and St Charles and his Companions were martyred seven years later, in 1886. They were also all young men; Charles was 26 when he died and the youngest of his companions, Kizito, was only about 14 years old.

‘How can anyone be sent unless their fare is paid?’

Fr Dermot quoted from Romans Chapter 10:

‘And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?’

But he said that we might add to this:

‘How can anyone be sent unless their fare is paid?’

The first Catholic missionary Priest sent to Uganda was Fr Lourdel from France. But he would not have been able to get there without his fare! And this is what Missio’s Association for the Propagation of the Faith, founded by Blessed Pauline Jaricot, set about to do: provide prayer and financial support for missionaries.

This is the legacy that Missio volunteers and supporters continue today. You are still supporting missionaries the world over, to bring God’s love to all people. And without you, our mission would fall at the first hurdle.

Thank you!

We are so grateful to our supporters  in Shrewsbury Diocese for such a wonderful celebration of Mission. Thank you for everything you do, and especially to our volunteers who work so tirelessly to help missionaries on their journey. You are a vital part of the Missio family, and we are blessed to have you!

Join us

We depend on our wonderful supporters and volunteers to help us ignite God’s love and spread our message throughout the dioceses and online.

  • Please pray for Missio and the missionaries we support around the world. Find special Missio prayers here>>
  • If you’d like to give your time to Missio, we’d love to hear from you! Whether you have a few minutes, a few hours, or plenty of time, find out how you can get involved here.
  • Help us pay the fares so more missionaries can be sent! Missio is committed to providing missionaries and mission dioceses with the tools and support they need to ignite God’s love around the world. Donate today here>>
  • Our diocesan Mission Masses are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate mission, share our experiences and say a huge thank you to everyone who helps us. Find your diocesan Mass here>>