The Apostolic Work movement in Ireland developed against a backdrop of burgeoning religious and missionary zeal throughout Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Founding Mothers

The Association has been graced from the outset by a galaxy of remarkable women. No doubt every diocese celebrates its own heroines of Apostolic Work. Three dynamic and inspirational women – Agnes McCauley from Enniskillen, Mrs Mary McCall and Mrs Mary Nihill (Mrs McCall’s daughter) from Belfast, pioneered the foundation, organisation and expansion of the movement.

Mrs Mary Nihill, receiving a gift for long services to Apostolic Work.

Mrs Mary Nihill, receiving a gift for long services to Apostolic Work.


Apostolic Work commenced in the diocese of Killaloe, with the first branch and headquarters established in Ennis in 1955 by Mrs Evelyn Farron. She learned of the organisation from her friend Mrs Ferrigan, from Armagh, who had come to live in Ennis with her family. Materials were sent from the Armagh centre to get the work underway.


  • Christ the King
  • Our Lady, Mother of the Church
  • The Holy Women of the Gospel


The Association is known as Apostolic Work, Ireland; it is aggregated to the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.


To share in the missionary apostolate of the Church by prayer, and by supplying material and financial aid in those areas where the Church is not yet fully established.

To sanctify members’ lives by their participation in Apostolic Work.

There is a place for you in Apostolic Work. It is easy to become a member if you can say a prayer or do practical work, or if you can fundraise in any way. All proceeds go directly to the developing world. The support of all is most welcome – just contact any member in your parish or the office in Ennis.


The Association is composed of active and honorary members.

Active members of the Association:

  • Recite daily ‘Our Father’, ‘Hail Mary’ and ‘Gloria’ with the invocations: ‘St Francis Xavier, pray for us’, ‘St Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us’
  • Regularly attend meetings of the Branch.

Those who cannot engage actively in the work of the Association may become honorary members by:

  • Reciting daily ‘Our Father’, ‘Hail Mary’ and ‘Gloria’ for the spread of the Gospel
  • Making an annual financial contribution towards the work of the Association.