So, were you at the Eucharistic Congress?
Yes! Just for a few hours on Thursday and I attended the Mass in Knock this afternoon (Saturday).
Well, what did you think of the RDS? I was happily surprised by the numbers attending and by the general atmosphere of the place. It was in the RDS and before this I attended the odd Spring Show, Motor Show and a Neil Diamond Concert there so it was quite a different experience in many ways and yet there was a similarity. The main “hall” was given over to displays of all sorts, from Liturgical Vestments to Amplification Systems, Religious books and literature, internet services for churches and countless stands promoting vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood, religious life and Missionary societies and, as they say, “much much more”! It was amazing to see so much material, focused on church and church life under one roof. Even more amazing to see people spend time with it, being drawn to it and at home with it. There were various speakers and workshops but they seemed to fill up quickly. More demand than space and that too was a good thing. It showed a desire in people to hear something different and positive. There was a very beautiful “Prayer Space” and this was well availed of as was the on-going opportunity to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There was an open air ceremony around Reconciliation and Forgiveness and it was quite moving, not least for its powerful music and song.
One of the best parts, for me, was meeting so many people – a lot of priest friends from around the country and having the sense of “being” a priest and needing to be a priest. Overall, I have to say, it was a good experience. Please God it will have some lasting effects for all of us.