Church leaders tell eucharistic pilgrims Ireland is on path to renewal
Published: June 11, 2012
DUBLIN (CNS) -- The church in Ireland is on the path to renewal, church leaders told pilgrims at the opening Mass of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress June 10. Welcoming pilgrims from more than 120 countries at an open-air Mass, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said, "The church in Ireland rejoices today in the presence of pilgrims from many parts of the world who witness to the universality of our Catholic faith and who show their faith-filled fellowship and solidarity with the Church in Ireland." Ominous-looking rain clouds that had threatened proceedings receded as pilgrims began to arrive for the Mass. Delegates from the four provinces of Ireland carried their county flags and symbols of Ireland's Christian heritage which, pilgrims were reminded, goes back to St. Patrick and the fifth century. The congregation clapped and cheered as a young man spoke of Ireland's faithfulness to the Mass during centuries of persecution in which many priests and Catholics were martyred. International visitors took an opportunity to toll the congress bell and "'ring for renewal." The bell has been crisscrossing the country over the past two years and an estimated 250,000 people have rung it as a concrete symbol of hopes for renewal. In his homily, the papal legate, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, prayed the congress would "bring a special blessing to Ireland at this turbulent time."
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