The SPOC group is non-political, ecumenical, and open to all. The group organised and participated in a series of events during the “Week of Witness” which is promoted and coordinated by Aid to the Church in Need. This ran from Wednesday the 25th of November to Tuesday the 1st of December 2020. Initially the group planned events for our own parish, but this was expanded and developed, and we cooperated with other parishes in organising activities. We were delighted too that there was an ecumenical element during the week in the support we received and the participation of the clergy and members of the congregation in St. Brigid’s Church of Ireland, Maynooth.
Among the activities implemented during Week of Witness were:
- A guest speaker Nigerian priest Fr. Peter Johnson concelebrated and spoke after Mass in Our Lady, Mother of the Church on Sunday 22nd November. Fr. Peter gave a powerful and succinct witness of current persecution in his native country. Please see this Youtube Link to Fr. Peter’s talk
- On Red Wednesday the 25th of November, the exterior of the building of Our Lady Mother of the Church as well as St. Brigid’s Church of Ireland and Castleknoock College were illuminated in red to symbolize the suffering of Christians. Others church exteriors in Dublin 15 and some other parts of the city were also illuminated and in total ten churches participated.
- Prayer and vigils were facilitated during the “Week of Witness”.
- Over two and half thousand rosary kits from ACN were supplied to primary school children. These kits consisted of rosary beads made by persecuted Christians in Bethlehem and lovely colourful booklets with pictures of the various mysteries.
- The coordinated ringing of church bells took place at 3pm on Friday 27th November. Nine churches were involved.
- A Facebook page “Stop the Persecution of Christians D15” was set up.
- Aid to the Church in Need literature was distributed to local secondary schools.
- Posters and banners were strategically positioned around the parish to highlight the issue of Christian persecution.
- Information leaflets were made available to members of the public.
- Letters were written to ambassadors of countries where persecution is taking place and to some other relevant agencies.
We were delighted to get a very positive response from both parishioners, clergy and the public and this created a good base for the development of the group going forward. We wish to pay tribute to and thank the other parishes who got involved with us during “Week of Witness” and to our volunteers without whom this would not have been possible.
Our group is now an official and the first ever parish mission of Aid to The Church in Need. Please see our Stop the Persecution of Christians Facebook page for further information.
If you wish to get involved in our group or require clarification please contact the Parish Office.