Fr Tom Ryan is part of the Columban Mission Awareness Team that has visited parishes
and made appeals during 2010 in the dioceses of Arundel and Brighton, Wrexham and
part of Birmingham. He writes:
“The parishes spread across the three dioceses totalled 279, of which 153 accepted
our Appeal. This is one less Appeal than in 2008 and 24 more than 2009. And the results
were better than expected too! Funds raised for this year on Mission Appeals have
exceeded those both of 2008 and 2009 while the rate of subscriptions to the Far East
magazine is slightly higher than last year.
We acknowledge the tremendous sacrifices our many faithful donors still make on our
behalf up and down and across the country. They attend our Masses, listen to our
appeals and welcome us at Church doors. Every week! They are the backbone to our
work and they are many. Hard pressed in this time of severe recession, they live
on lowered pensions, restricted social welfare benefits and are less well off now
than even one year ago! Yet, out of meagre resources they faithfully include the
Columbans. It is humbling. There is extraordinary goodwill towards us everywhere
we go. It never seems to fail! For the Columbans, for our work, for our message,
for our magazine. It is shown to us by priests, by sisters, by parishioners. It is
felt in their welcome, in their hospitality, in the overnight stay in their homes.
We are deeply appreciative.
And so, what can we say of the year to come, 2011? It is the turn of Southwark and
three deaneries of Westminster, offering us a total of 215 parishes. So far, 56 have
responded in what appears a brisk and quick start to the New Year. We look forward
to meeting new people to interest in engaging with Columban work.”
Fr Tom Ryan and Fr Peter Hughes of the Columban Mission Awareness Team