Jesuits and colleagues have been part of the buzz around the RDS and Simmonscourt as the Eucharistic Congress 2012 gets into full swing in Dublin this week. Peter McVerry, Gerry O’Hanlon, Peter Hannon, Conall Ó Cuinn, and John Guiney are all giving talks at various stages, and certain apostolates are displaying their wares in the main hall of conference arena.
Noelle Fitzpatrick of Magis Ireland, the Jesuit Outreach to Young Adults, has been really surprised at the level of interest in the event from young people. She and the Magis team have been happily signing up groups to take out into the city to meet refugees (in conjunction with JRS), the homeless, people of other faiths and those with disability; emphasising the importance at an experiential level, of the social justice calling of the Eucharist.
Tony O’Riordain SJ, PP of Moyross, is leading the morning prayer in the Youth section with some of his parishoners from Limerick. And Donal Neary SJ, PP of Gardiner St Church, is catering for pilgrims in a special way, as his Church is a specially dedicated ‘Church of Welcome’.
The Messenger team have been promoting Ireland’s largest selling magazine as well as their many recently published books. Authors like Finbarr Lynch (When You Pray) and Brian Grogan (To Grow in Love) are available to sign their books. And if he’s not signing, Brian Grogan is praying about petitions handed in by pilgrims to an unusally quiet prayer space, created by the Sacred Space online prayer website team.
Many visitors themselves are taking advantage of the quiet space to get a break from the hustle and bustle and reconnect with God.
Director of Vocations, Conall O’Cuinn SJ is sharing the stand with the Sacred Space apostolate and the ‘Heart of a Jesuit ‘vocations poster is drawing quite some interest.
Conall is also giving a workshop on the Christian values inherent in the acclaimed film ‘Blood Diamonds’ and in a similar vein, Peter Hannon SJ is giving a talk on ‘Faith and Film’.
Gerry O’Hanlon and Peter McVerry will be focussing on the Eucharist as a call to service and the creation of a just society.
The Pioneer Association has a stand and a rota of volunteers who are focussing their attention on the international pilgrims who may not have heard their message of abstinence as a contribution to the spiritual well-being of a people, particularly those suffering from the effects of addiction.
The Jesuit Communication centre is keeping people up to date on what’s happening on a daily basis through facebook, twitter and their newly-launched province website, www.jesuit.ie. They are making a short film of the Jesuit participation in the Congress which will be available online soon after the event.
They are also interviewing and recording the internationally known canon lawyer and one of the few remaining witnesses to the second Vatican Council, Ladislas Orsy SJ, who will speak on the EC theme of Communio on Friday 15 June.