Youth Relay for Knock Summer Festival

A number of young people from dioceses in the West of Ireland are to take part in a special walking relay from Lough Derg in County Donegal to Knock in County Mayo later this month.

The young people from the dioceses of Clogher, Raphoe, Kilmore, Elphin, Achonry and Tuam, will carry a penal cross and flame with them on their walk, to demonstrate that young people are fanning the flame of faith. 

The walk will commence at Lough Derg on Monday July 23 and will end in Knock to coincide with the 2012 Knock Summer Youth Festival on Saturday July 28.  The group which will be accompanied by the Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor Bishop Donal McKeown and will walk for five to six hours each day. 

They will finish each day with a celebration of the Eucharist in a different diocese where they will pass on the flame to the next group of young people who will pick up the walk the following day.

Commenting on the walk Bishop McKeown said, “This initiative aims to build on the great energy of the many young people of faith who attended the International Eucharistic Congress.  In Dublin we all saw that here are many generous, enthusiastic and gifted individuals and groups who want to grapple with the pain of the world, but also to generate hope, community and healing for a better future.  Walking together is a great way to share our journeys and our stories. 

“I really hope that these days leading up to Knock will show how penance and celebration, silence and song are part of God's way to heal the world and that the strong, silent Mary of Knock continues to point to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World.”

Bishop McKeown's comments were echoed by the Director of Youth Ministry at Knock Shrine, Helen Toner who said, “Young people are very much interested in their faith and they want to explore that more, they are all searching for something, something that cannot be satisfied by the materialistic things this world offers them. 

“Young people of Ireland are realising that they are indeed the tomorrow that Archbishop Martin spoke about recently in his remarks at the Statio Orbis for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress and they are willing and excited about taking ownership of their faith and the important role they have to play in the church.”

by Sean Ryan



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