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With the same enthusiasm
The hope of Msgr. Diarmuid Martin (Dublin) for the Irish Church
The Archbishop of Dublin, Msgr. Diarmuid Martin conveyed to Simona Mengascini and Angelo Bottone, SIR Europe correspondents in Dublin, his impressions on the special days of his diocese (June 10-17) that hosted the 50th International Eucharistic Congress on the theme “Communion with Christ and with one another”, marked by “enthusiasm and “courage”. The event took place in the large halls of the Royal Dublin Society, under the sun, the wind and cold currents from the North, which did not discourage some 15 thousand pilgrims from 120 world countries, who every day crowded the catecheses, the Masses, the celebrations, the workshops, the areas devoted to prayer and to the youth. The closing event of the Statio Orbis in Croke Park registered the presence of 80 thousand people.
Joy, reflection and silence. “I was impressed - underlined Archbishop Martin - by the enthusiasm with which pilgrims attended the event. So much joy was accompanied by profound reflections, perceived during the celebration of liturgies and in the silence of the large hall where the Eucharistic celebration and prayers were held. The same religious silence of the youth characterized the evening prayer with frére Alois, in the style of Taizé Community”.
An event of “renewal”. For the prelate “it was an event of renewal especially for the Irish Church, and a sign of new evangelization for the universal Church”. Of course, “seven days are not enough: now that the Congress has ended the same enthusiasm - whose absence was probably due to the abuse scandal - must continue to thrive in our parishes and in our communities. It is important to continue with the same courage of bearing witness to our faith in society”. “In the preparations for the Congress - he said - we were involved in an experience of mission, especially in the diocese of Dublin; we must continue this mission whilst intensifying catechesis. The Year of the Faith, called by Benedict XVI, is the ideal occasion”.
“Hunger” and “thirst” of the Gospel. Msgr. Martin highlighted that the catecheses were repeated several times “not only because people hadn’t found a seat, but also because there is widespread ‘hunger’ and ‘thirst’, especially among Irish Catholics, to be closer to the message of Jesus and its meaning in our lives, for the communion of the Church and for society as a whole”. “Finally - added the archbishop - although he wasn’t physically present pope Benedict XVI, represented by Card. Ouellet, followed and encouraged the Congress. I know that his prayers have helped turn this event into a great success”.
90% of lay people. “Lay people - underlined the secretary general of the Congress father Kevin Doran - were over 90% of those present and this has greatly encouraged Irish bishops. I believe, without fearing of being proved wrong, that the Congress is a new page for the Church in Ireland”.