Irish Youth To Participate in Walk From Lough Derg to Knock

Initiative to Conclude with Youth Festival at End of July

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MAYNOOTH, Ireland, JULY 5, 2012 ( Young people from the dioceses of Clogher, Raphoe, Kilmore, Elphin, Achonry and Tuam have decided to do a relay walk to this year’s Knock Summer Youth Festival carrying a cross and a flame with them. The walk is to show that the young people of Ireland are carrying on the faith and are fanning the flame of faith in their lives and to their peers.

Young people from Clogher to Tuam accompanied by Bishop Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, will take part in the walk which will begin in Lough Derg on July 23 and which will end in Knock to coincide with the 2012 Knock Summer Youth Festival on July 28. The group will walk for five to six hours each day and finish each day with a celebration of the Eucharist in a difference 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 Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, who will walk with the young people 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 there 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.»

Ms. Helen Toner, Director of Youth Ministry at Knock Shrine said: «The week of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress saw thousands of people taking part in talks, workshops, liturgies and prayer. Perhaps the most surprising thing was the youth space, a first for any congress. The dedicated youth space in the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Simmonscourt saw hundreds of young people gathered together each evening for music, workshops, catechesis and fun.  Each diocese chose a different day to attend the Congress youth space and this is where the idea of a relay walk came from.»

«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,» she continued.

«Young people of Ireland are realising that they are indeed the ‘tomorrow’ that Archbishop Diarmuid 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.»

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