Irish missionaries bringing hope and transformation to the lives of those in need

Irish missionaries bringing hope and transformation to the lives of those in need Joana Ilario, a graduate of the Solidarity Teacher Training College in Yambio, South Sudan, who now teaches at St Mary’s Primary School in Yambio. Photo: Paul Jeffrey

Many of us in Ireland would remember from times past a family member serving overseas with the Church—an aunt, uncle, brother or sister who would share stories of their missionary work while back home every few years on leave.

But did you know that there are still hundreds of Irish missionaries working around the world, in some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, bringing hope to people in need through pathways to a brighter future?

The proud tradition of Irish missionaries abroad continues to be vibrant and have an incredible impact on the lives of the poorest and most excluded. Their projects help people build secure incomes through job and skills training; provide better medical care for healthy lives; ensure access to education for children and young people; and support and advocate for human rights.

Sr Eunice Quigley, FMSA Zimbabwe

For nearly twenty years, Ireland has provided support to the Irish missionary tradition in part through Misean Cara, an Irish faith-based organisation that funds Irish missionaries working around the world.* In 2022, Misean Cara funding helped 53 different Irish missionary organisations transform the lives of more than 1.7million people in over 50 countries.

Sr. Eunice Quigley, who serves with the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa (FMSA), has been in Zimbabwe for more than 40 years, and just recently celebrated her 50th Jubilee with her Sisters in the FMSA. As she reflects on her life’s work as a missionary, Sr Eunice comments “I am grateful to my congregation FMSA and to Misean Cara for their support down through the years. Ireland has a history of reaching out to the needy and I am proud of this Irish Support, as we ourselves have suffered from famine, from racism and discrimination.”

You too can help Irish missionaries continue the legacy of their life-transforming work by remembering Misean Cara in your Will. Your gift will help Irish missionaries empower the most vulnerable to achieve a better quality of life.

For more information, contact Jennifer Donovan at 01 405 5028 or

Misean Cara was established in 2004 to support the overseas development work of missionaries. Misean Cara’s 78 member organisations support vulnerable communities in more than 50 countries around the world by addressing basic needs in the areas of education, health, and livelihoods, as well as advocating for human rights. At times of humanitarian crisis, the trusted and long-term presence of missionaries in affected communities allows for rapid, efficient and targeted responses. Misean Cara is majority funded by the Irish Aid Programme.