Features

Transforming hearts for Christ
Maura Garrihy describes 
the work of Holy Family 
Mission in Waterford.

Members of Holy Family Mission.

Holy Family Mission, working under the auspices of the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore, opened its doors officially on October 23, 2016, when 10 courageous young people from across the country committed a year of their lives to be formed in their faith, in order to share this with others. It is a response to the great hunger and desire that we have seen, and continue to see, in young people across Ireland – a longing for truth, meaning and purpose. 

Holy Family Mission is a residential Catholic community for young people aged 18-30 who want to become effective Disciples of Christ in the world. We desire to see our parishes and schools renewed, families transformed and youth missionaries set on fire with love for the Gospel! It is the first of its kind in the country and is an exciting new project that is unveiling the mysteries of the Catholic Church to young hearts. Our primary focus at Holy Family Mission is to be a place of formation, while also facilitating retreats and ministry opportunities for youth and families.

As we prepare to end our first year in August, we are busy preparing our final school retreats and family days, while also eagerly looking forward to five weeks of summer faith camps in Munster.

Venture

As is to be expected with any new venture for the Lord we have certainly learned so much in the initial year, and what an adventure it has been! Numerous people who have worked with our community over the year have commented on the joy with which we serve. The growth that we have seen in our community members is testament to the fruit that is born when one centres their life on the Lord, while being supported by a faith community. 

It has been such a blessed and fruitful time for us and we are so grateful to our many supporters over the last number of months.

Our mission and outreach opportunities have included everything from youth retreats to street outreach, from face painting to drama! We have set out to help train and equip youth missionaries for schools and parishes across the country.

Goal

Our lofty goal to form young people for mission in today’s somewhat hostile culture has been challenging, rewarding and we hope successful. We have actively and intentional engaged with families, both within and outside the diocese.

Our family days happen monthly (usually the last Sunday of the month) and between 25-30 families join us each month. The feedback from this outreach has been extremely positive and have been a source of blessing for all those who have attended. Our community members are also nearing completion of their Certificates in the Catechism as part of their formation.

One of the greatest fruits by far in Holy Family Mission is the growth we have seen in our youth community in terms of their personal development. Through the gift of living in community and through daily personal formation, they have grown in skills and virtue. They have gained valuable experience that we trust will equip them for life after this year of formation and service, and thus help them respond more fully to the vocation and mission God is calling them to. “Holy Family Mission has helped me to live a balanced life, with prayer at the centre. Living with other people has helped me to learn more about myself and has challenged me to grow in striving to be a more loving person,” one of our community shared.

What does the future have in store for us? Some of this year’s community will commit to another year of service and formation next year and form a full time ‘Mission team’. This will help us to reach even more young people and families through different outreaches, while also enabling this hub of formation to run in parallel for new community members. We hope to continue to build up relationships with those locally and nationally.

Outreach

We plan to grow our youth ministry initiatives, and our outreach to families going forward. We look forward to assisting families to prepare for the World Meeting of Families in August 2018 and being able to support the diocese in its plans for this.

Bishop Phonsie Cullinan of the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore said he has “no doubt that Holy Family Mission is a word of God, and will bring many blessings from God on the diocese and far beyond”.

“I have seen first-hand the joy of the young people and the core members. It is a living testimony to their search for Jesus and his desire to spread his joy to others. Holy Family Mission, Glencomeragh, is a place where people can come to experience that joy,” he said.

If you are interested in joining our joyful community of young adults, and being part of this wonderful adventure, please contact us directly at info@holyfamilymission.net

We have opened our application process for the upcoming year, starting in September, and we welcome expressions of interest from 18-30 year olds. Holy Family Mission not only trains young people for youth ministry, but for a life long journey with Jesus. If you feel called to support our unique mission financially, or to find out more information about us, please view our website www.holyfamilymission.net. Please keep our mission in your prayers.