Rev. Fr. Michael Corcoran is 59, is Irish, and was born and baptised on 7th March 1960 in Kilkenny, Ireland. He responded to a missionary call and went to our MHM minor seminary St. Joseph’s College, Freshford , Ireland (1973 to 1978) . This was followed by major missionary formation in Roosendaal, the Netherlands, and then in St Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, London, where he made his Perpetual Missionary Commitment on 29th January 1985 and was subsequently ordained priest 18th August 1985 in Galmoy, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland, and was appointed to Soroti, Diocese. Uganda. He continued to serve in East Aftrica in the following years, including being Vocations Director and Regional, and was elected to the General Council in 2005, with special responsibility for our missions in Africa. Having completed his five year term, he was later elected MHM Regional in Ireland and President of the Irish Missionary Union which he is still at the time of his election as General Superior of our Society.
He was elected 12th General Superior of the Mill Hill Missionaries on Monday 15th June 2015.
Message from the Superior General Autumn 2020
In this year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the missionary journey of the Church continues. Pope Francis writes in his message for World Mission Sunday 2020 that we all have a mission, and that mission is a free and conscious response to God’s call to share his love with all humanity. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. However, we have realised that we are on the same boat, all of us called to row together, that only together, can we do this. As missionaries we are ‘sent’ in a special way to be alongside those who suffer, all the more with the impact of this global crisis. This is a favourable time for mission. We are called today to announce and give the love of God, above all where there is suffering, misery and despair.
These last months have been extraordinary. The pandemic has caused great harm, physical, mental, emotional and financial. Sadly, many have fallen sick and many more have lost their lives. The crisis has shown us how fragile life really is. It has caused us to review our priorities and has made us face our mortality and the question of God. I am very much aware that we as missionaries have found ourselves in situations of significant spiritual and pastoral challenge, not immune to the difficulties, hardships and pain of this time. I express my gratitude to all of you on the ‘front line’ for the significant dedication and sacrifice you are making as the crisis continues to impact on how we relate to each other, how we work and how we pray together. Notwithstanding fear, tiredness, and grief you have endeavoured to stand with those bereaved and suffering even in the midst of many restrictions and limitations imposed by governments to curtail the spread of the virus. We are blessed with your generosity.
All of us can feel vulnerable, fragile, wonder, and worry about what the future has in store. As missionaries, the capacity for hope is very much part and parcel of our ministry today. Without hope, we could easily succumb to a form of self-pre-occupation which will not yield either energy, courage, or freedom. A great danger facing our world is the sense of powerlessness, the idea that the world is spinning out of control, that the problems are too great to solve. Yet the God in whom we believe is a God who enables us to express hope just when hopelessness seems to have the upper hand. Not surprisingly, God does this through us, especially in times of need, when we are entangled in life’s knots. We are the ‘cultivators of hope’ amongst the people we live and work with every day.
This is a time for stretching our imagination and intelligence; to learn new ways; and to prepare for a new world. It is time to continue realising how we depend on one another and to learn to work collectively and cooperatively, sharing responsibilities and appreciating solidarity. Let us not put our lives on hold. Welcome each day for its freshness. Do not just wait for all this to be over. Let us use this time creatively as many of us are already doing.
As we continue the journey, let us remind ourselves of the new encyclical letter “Fratelli Tutti”. Its title is the exhortation of Saint Francis to follow the message of Jesus: to recognise each other as brothers and sisters and to live accordingly in the common home that the Father entrusted to us.
Let us move forward with enthusiasm as there is much to do on the journey that awaits us.
Michael Corcoran MHM