Irish Youth Meet at Shrine for Fellowship Festival

Our Lady Draws Young People to Pilgrimage Site

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KNOCK, Ireland, JUNE 24, 2010 ( A three-day festival of faith and fellowship begins Friday for youth from around Ireland.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Knock is the site for the annual event, this year focused on «Walk by Faith.» The three-day program includes talks, workshops, prayer, reflection and music. 

Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam and Bishop Christopher Jones of Elphin will take part in the event.

Bishop Jones opens the festival on Friday. 

«The festival presents young people with the exciting opportunity of gathering with others to reflect on their Christian faith and the significance it has in our life journey,» Bishop Jones said. «[…] We pray that it will help many young people to discover in their lives a lively, loving relationship with Jesus Christ and his church.»

Archbishop Neary will close the event on Sunday.

He said the annual festival is a «most welcome development of recent years.»

«It is an ideal opportunity for so many young people to come together in a faith context, to meet, to have a positive experience of Church, to pray, to celebrate and to have fun,» the archbishop noted. «Young people are the future of the Church and they deserve the best in presenting to them the wonderful treasures of our faith.»

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is Ireland’s national shrine.

In 1879, the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the Knock parish church, and were seen by more than a dozen people.

Pope John Paul II visited the shrine in 1979.

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