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Book of the Month - November

 

Part of the call of the Year of Faith is to renew our knowledge of and commitment to the faith that was gifted to us at baptism. Veritas is therefore happy to offer a Year of Faith: Book of the Month. These books are intended to inform readers on a wide variety of faith topics. As an initiative for the Year of Faith, you might like to start a Year of Faith Book Club in your work, school or parish community, where these publications can be discussed and shared.

 

Book of the Month for November: Children of the Sun


 

Spanning the thirty-nine years of the Cork and Ross mission to South America, Children of the Sun details the new life, culture and challenges the missionaries encountered on their arrival to the famous land of the Incas.

 

Beginning in Cork, where the mission was founded by Bishop Lucey in the 1960s, the story travels thousands of miles to the Diocese of Trujillo in Peru, the Andes, and later on to Ecuador, where the Irish missionaries dedicated themselves to addressing the needs, spiritual and material, of the indigenous people.

 

‘Leonard O’Brien’s book gives a wonderful account of a place of harsh landscape, political instability and poverty, as well as a land steeped in ancient history, beauty and a warm and welcoming people.’

 

Spanning the thirty-nine years of the Cork and Ross mission to South America, Children of the Sun details the new life, culture and challenges the missionaries encountered on their arrival to the famous land of the Incas.

 

Beginning in Cork, where the mission was founded by Bishop Lucey in the 1960s, the story travels thousands of miles to the Diocese of Trujillo in Peru, the Andes, and later on to Ecuador, where the Irish missionaries dedicated themselves to addressing the needs, spiritual and material, of the indigenous people.

 

‘Leonard O’Brien’s book gives a wonderful account of a place of harsh landscape, political instability and poverty, as well as a land steeped in ancient history, beauty and a warm and welcoming people.’

 

 

Foreword – Bishop John Buckley


It is now over forty years since Bishop Cornelius Lucey wrote a letter to the people of Cork informing them of his decision to establish a diocesan mission to South America. Little could he have known, or indeed imagined, the impact that decision would have. One thing he did sense very accurately was the support and prayers of the people, priests and sisters of Cork and Ross. 

Primarily, the work of all who served in South America was to make Christ better known and loved. From this came a commitment to the material welfare of the people. The sacrifice of the priests and sisters was matched by the generosity of the people at home. It took faith and courage to take on responsibility for a large and distressed area in South America. The mission survived terrorism, earthquakes and political turmoil. It is indeed unusual for a missionary project to last as long as that of the Cork and Ross South American mission. It is very important that this unique outreach, the most original ever undertaken by any diocese in Ireland, should be recorded for future generations.

I wonder if Monsignor O’Brien was aware of what he was letting himself in for when I invited him to write this history of our work in Peru and Ecuador. I warmly congratulate him on a work elegantly done. Despite his demanding pastoral duties, I think that the writing of this history was a labour of love for him. He eloquently captures not only the historical facts, but also, and indeed even more importantly, the spirit of the mission. The recounting of the success of this mission story in such a splendid narrative must have taken an enormous effort, no matter how gifted the writer. All the detail regarding major events in the missions areas of South America is captivating.

The only guideline I gave Monsignor O’Brien when I invited him to undertake this task was: keep in mind people who would know very little about the mission. His style of writing strikes exactly the right chord for a popular history, one that is acceptable to the general public and eminently readable. He does not merely give the facts, he brings them to life. His anecdotal recollections make it easy reading. Monsignor O’Brien book will be a rewarding and enjoyable experience and it is not always that such a harmony can be achieved. 

We are all in his debt, not only the priests and sisters who served there, but all people who have an interest in the missionary work of the Church. I hope you enjoy reading Children of the Sun as much as I did. It deserves a wide readership. 



About the Author: 

Leonard O’Brien is a priest of the Diocese of Cork and Ross. He served on the South American mission for eight years.

 

 

Previous Books of the Month:


October 2013: Heaven Sent: My Life Through the Rosary by Fr Gabriel Harty


September 2013: Where God Hides: A Journey of Divine Awakening


August 2013: Where God Hides by Liam Lawton

July 2013: Jesus: Social Revolutionary?

 

June 2013: The Gospels Box Set


May 2013: Faith Working Through Love: Prayers, Meditations and Reflections Celebrating the Year of Faith 

April 2013: Dear James Anthony: Why I Want You to be Catholic

 

March 2013: Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland

 

February 2013: Take the Plunge by Timothy Radcliffe

 

January 2013: Will there be Faith? Depends on Every Christian by Thomas H. Groome

 

December 2012: The Illustrated Bible: Story by Story by Michael Collins

 

November 2012: Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2013, from www.sacredspace.ie


October 2012: Heaven Sent: My Life Through the Rosary by Fr Gabriel Harty

 


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