Something’s in the air at the Congress
Posted on 14. Jun, 2012
I got a text from a friend earlier today asking me if the Congress was worth all the effort. After all it’s taken years for planning, loads of work and hundreds of hours of sticking up bunting and stuffing envelopes. The answer though is a resounding YES!
As thousands of pilgrims wander around the Exhibition Hall in the RDS, Dublin, what strikes you immediately is the atmosphere. There’s a sense of celebration and anticipation that can only be found in events like the Eucharistic Congress or World Youth Day. As people take time to look at the stands, plan their day’s workshops, grab a cuppa with an old friend or head to the arena for Mass it’s clear everyone is happy to be here, together.
Tuesday dealt with marriage and the importance of family. We had talks from Breda O’Brien, the Grandparents’ Association and Archbishop Hickey from Perth. They spoke of the need for seeing marriage as a three way partnership between God and each spouse. The family, they said, needs to be rooted in faith in order to fully grow and flourish.
Wednesday was a day devoted to vocation, priesthood and religious life. In the morning we had a celebration of religious life, led by Chris Monaghan, Passionist from Australia. Following Chris we had two young religious, who spoke of their vocational journey. Priesthood is not to be undertaken as a personal honour, Archbishop Dermot Clifford told pilgrims during the day. In the words of Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Clifford described priesthood as “unique, indispensable and irreplaceable”. He added that “the title of bishop is one not of honour but of function and therefore a bishop should strive to serve rather than rule.”