We have lost urgency of Gospel mission – bishop

We have lost urgency of Gospel mission – bishop Bishop Donal McKeown

This generation has lost the “urgency to spread the Gospel”, which was the drive for thousands of Irish missionaries, according to the Bishop of Derry.

Speaking at a Mass to celebrate the golden jubilee of St Aengus’ Church in Burt, Co. Donegal, Bishop Donal McKeown said the “community of disciples that gathers in our churches are to be formed, not to defend their fortress, but so that they can be a missionary people”.

He said that while “our parishes have been wonderful at supporting the missionaries who went overseas”, this generation “has lost much of that urgency to spread the Gospel which drove thousands to go to mission lands”.

The bishop said there is a need to “rediscover that generous energy” and “direct all that we do in every parish to forming disciples and sending them out to bring Good News”.

Bishop McKeown warned that a church building should not be a museum to the past “but a pointer that we can look to the future”, and asked what legacy are we leaving to the next generation.

“Will they look back on us as people of courage, as we look back on hard times when faith was forbidden and there were no churches? Or will they regret that we failed to sow seeds of hope so that they could reap a harvest of grace?”