Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow – missionaries for the world since 1866– sent by Britain’s own missionary society
Britain’s own Catholic overseas missionary society is celebrating a century and a half of bringing the love of Christ to the four corners of the world.
The mid Victorian era was a rapidly changing one for the Catholic Church in Britain. Improved civil and religious rights which came with the Catholic Relief Act in 1829 improved the legal framework for Catholics but a rapidly growing Catholic population meant there were challenges of training enough clergy and building church buildings. It is all the more remarkable that in this context Cardinal Herbert Vaughan had the prophetic vision that England & Wales needed its own missionary outreach to Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Devoted to St Joseph the Society was founded in 1866 for the training of men as missionaries to minister throughout the world.
The main celebration during the Jubilee year will be at Westminster Cathedral on St Joseph’s feast day, 19th March 2016 at 12.30. All Mill Hill Missionaries, friends and supporters are invited to be present. “Everyone is most welcome” says Fr Michael Corcoran Mill Hill’s General Superior “Over the years we have engaged with so many people across the country in our various ministries and I would like to extend a warm invitation to join us for the Mass”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols will be the main celebrant and afterwards members of the Society will renew their vows at the Vaughan Chantry.
From Saturday 12th March until 19th March there will be an exhibition at Westminster Cathedral in St Joseph’s Chapel showing the history, scope and current missions of the Society.
Meet a missionary
Several other events are planned for the jubilee year including a conference at Heythrop College with Fr Bob O Neill MHM and a video project to capture the vocation stories of Mill Hill Missionaries and associates both young and old.
A significant milestone
“This is a significant jubilee” continues Fr Michael Corcoran MHM “It marks a substantial contribution to the Church in this country over 150 years. Through Cardinal Vaughan’s vision and the growth of our own society, I’m aware that so many other missionary societies of women and men have flourished in this country due to the scope and reach of the Mill Hill Missionaries. All these friends of ours are invited to celebrate with us this year and as we collaborate in the future to nurture the vocation of all our people today for a life on mission, whether women, men, lay or religious”