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Missionary Memoirs

Author(s): Enda Watters

ISBN13: 9781856076715

ISBN10: 1856076717


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  • The author gives an account of his visits to missionary countries on all the continents over a period of half a century. He offers vivid reports on a world which most people know of only vaguely. The devotion and dedication of missionaries come across forcefully. There are richly descriptive passages on the sights, sounds and smells in the places he visited. There is also a lightness of touch and humour to enlighten this odyssey literally to the ends of the earth.

    Fr Enda Waters C.S.Sp. entered the Holy Ghost Congregation (Spiritans) in 1941. He studied at Kimmage Manor, UCD, the Ecumenical Institute and Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem and the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. He was editor of Missionary Annals and a retreat preacher (1953-63). He visited missions in Africa as editor in 1958-59. He was a pioneer missionary in Brazil (1963-73), Vice-Provincial and Provincial Bursar, Ireland (1973-76), Provincial Superior, Ireland (1976-82) and General Counsellor, Rome (1982-86). He was Executive Secretary, Irish Missionary Union (1987-92), on the Academic Council of the Irish School of Ecumenics (1979-82) and a member of the Board of APSO (1989-93). He has been a hospital chaplain since 1992.
  • Enda Watters

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    These are two very contrasting books. Enda Watters is a Spiritan who has travelled the world, though he spent long periods as a young man in Brazil, his book contains a rapidly moving review of experiences all around the globe.

    We see all the extraordinary changes in the world and the Church taking place before our eyes: Africa in the last years of the colonial era, South Africa in the throes of Liberation theology, the Far East in all its growing influence. Very striking too, perhaps because they echo so much that is in the evening news, are the few pages devoted to his time in Pakistan, with all the difficulties of living in a Muslim state, one overrun with huge numbers of Afghans displaced by the Russian invasion of their country.


    P?ídraig O M?íille, on the other hand, spent his 40 years as a missionary in Nigeria and Malawi, two very different countries that show the dangers of generalising too quickly from a long way away about the continent of Africa.

    On going out for the first time he was advised he would need two things in abundance: deep faith and a sense of humour. Both these books reflect this advice. But both have seen faith change too.

    We are told of Bishop Browne of Galway describing himself at the start of a sermon in Africa as a native bishop of Ireland. Fr Watters spent a little time in the Holy Land too, which gave him an understanding and a respect for ecumenism and indigenous and world religions that I had previously lacked.

    Both men have spent themselves in the service of others. There was, as O M?íille notes, a down side, the loneliness of the single life, but they were well balanced by the great gains. As missionary work changes - indeed as African priests come here to serve - these memories are valuable records of a special Irish project in the modern world.

    - The Irish Catholic, 11th March 2010


Missionary Memoirs

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