Brother Martin Bennett OFM Cap shares a reflection about an event held in Dublin Diocese last weekend as part of their preparations for World Youth Day. This year’s World Youth Day will take place in Krakow from 25 – 31 July:
It’s 10.00am on a Saturday morning and it’s already nearly 15 degrees. Dublin city centre is alive with tourists, commuters and shoppers going about their business. In a small corner of Smithfield stands Saint Paul’s Church, Arron Quay. Closed for many years, it is now a centre for evangelisation in the Dublin Archdiocese. It serves as both a city centre hub and a place of sanctuary.
On this particular morning the church is hosting one of a number of World Youth Day preparation events organised by the Archdiocesan World Youth Day Oversight Team. By 10.15am the church is buzzing with the sound of nearly two hundred young adults who have come together to prepare for their pilgrimage to Krakow in July. On the agenda today are the themes of reconciliation and adoration and I had the great privilege of leading these sessions.
One participant commented that ‘it was a great day; it really felt like we were at World Youth Day’ and another was enthused by the ‘electric atmosphere’. At the beginning of the session on ‘Reconciliation and Mercy’ I told the crowd that ‘I’ve just posted a picture of us all to Facebook with the comment “some say the Church in Ireland is dying: have a look at this” and the crowd rightly gave themselves cheer! It was extraordinary to stand there and to be part of this.