Home > News > Missionaries Celebrate 10 Years of Transforming Lives and Communities

More than 100 missionaries gathered today to celebrate the last 10 years of working with some of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities around the world. Since 2004, Misean Cara has disbursed over €159 million in Irish public funding to member organisations who work in more than 50 countries globally.

Over the last 10 years, Misean Cara has disbursed over €159 million in Irish public funding to member organisations who work in more than 50 countries globally. (L – R: Sally Roddy, Viatores Christi, Fr. John Guiney, Jesuit Missions, Sr. Brigid Tunney, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto), Maureen O’Dwyer, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary (Chigwell), Heydi Foster, Misean Cara CEO, Matt Moran, Misean Cara Chairperson, Fr. Liam Dunne, Divine Word Missionaries, Fr. Jean Paul Cirhakarhula Bisimwa, Missionaries of Africa, Sr. Felicia Matola, Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa, and Sr. Siobhan Ní Mhaoilmhihíl, Dominican Sisters. Photo: Tommy Clancy.

Over the last 10 years, Misean Cara has disbursed over €159 million in Irish public funding to member organisations who work in more than 50 countries globally. (L – R: Sally Roddy, Viatores Christi, Fr. John Guiney, Jesuit Missions, Sr. Brigid Tunney, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto), Maureen O’Dwyer, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary (Chigwell), Heydi Foster, Misean Cara CEO, Matt Moran, Misean Cara Chairperson, Fr. Liam Dunne, Divine Word Missionaries, Fr. Jean Paul Cirhakarhula Bisimwa, Missionaries of Africa, Sr. Felicia Matola, Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa, and Sr. Siobhan Ní Mhaoilmhihíl, Dominican Sisters. Photo: Tommy Clancy.

The 10 year anniversary celebration of Misean Cara, served as a platform to remember everyone who has died during the current outbreak of Ebola, and to pay homage to the many missionaries, staff and co-workers who have died over the last decade.

“During recent months, we have witnessed one of the biggest public health outbreaks in history. We have seen the news reports, read emails from our friends and loved ones in the affected countries – this has spurred all of us into action,” says Misean Cara CEO Heydi Foster, “some of our missionaries who attended today are hurting, and mourning the loss of friends and colleagues. Our organisation will continue to prioritise Ebola even now when it is no longer on the 6 o’clock news.”

“Ebola is a humanitarian crisis, and it is up to organisations like ours to keep it on the public radar. Misean Cara has approved 27 Emergency Funding applications to date totalling €398,244, and this money has been instrumental in re-equipping hospitals, providing, food, clothing and shelter, and training for medical staff and volunteers.”

Sr. Kay Meehan from the Salesian Sisters, and Sr. Elizabeth Woods from the Holy Faith Sisters carry candles as part of the opening procession at the 10 Year Celebration Mass in the Adam and Eve Church, Merchants Quay. Photo: Tommy Clancy.

Sr. Kay Meehan from the Salesian Sisters, and Sr. Elizabeth Woods from the Holy Faith Sisters carry candles as part of the opening procession at the 10 Year Celebration Mass in the Adam and Eve Church, Merchants Quay. Photo: Tommy Clancy.

Misean Cara channels Irish Aid funding to Irish missionary organisations working in vital areas like education, healthcare, livelihoods, humanitarian relief and environmental protection in developing countries.

“A lot of the work during the last 10 years has been in response to some of the worst humanitarian crises – earthquakes in Pakistan, Haiti, the Philippines, the genocide in Rwanda, the Tsunami, violence and famine in South Sudan – unfortunately the list goes on,” says Ms. Foster. “During these turbulent times, missionaries were the first people there to offer hope, food, shelter and medical care. For many in chaos, they were and remain the only constant.”

Missionaries are unique, and they offer a holistic missionary approach to development. By dedicating their lives to serving some of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities around the world, they can spend years away from Ireland. During politically unstable situations – missionaries have a reputation for staying in solidarity with local people after most other international personnel have left.

Misean Cara looks forward to continuing to support the vital contribution of Irish missionary organisations to improving the welfare of the world’s poorest.