Walk To Knock

The Walk to Knock!
Young people of Ireland fan the flame of faith…

Young people from Clogher to Tuam will take part in a relay walk carrying a penal cross and a flame to Knock Shrine this summer. Young people joined by Bishop Donal Mc Keown will begin the walk in Lough Derg on Monday 23rd of July and begin their trek across the country. They will walk between 5-6 hours a day and then finishing the day by celebrating mass in the next dioceses and passes the flame onto the next group of young people who will pick up the walk the next day.
A lot of people may believe that the Catholic Church in Ireland is drab and dreary and has little appeal for people. What was witnessed last week in Dublin, paints a very different picture. Up to 80,000 people attended the closing mass of the international Eucharistic congress in Croke Park. The week of the 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. There was a space in Simmonscourt that only hosted youth events. The space saw hundreds of youth people gathered together each evening. Each evening had music, workshops, catechesis and fun. 

Each diocese chose a different day to attend the youth space and this is where this relay walk has sparked 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’ says Helen Toner, Director of Youth Ministry, Knock Shrine. The Knock Summer Festival is taking place on the 28th of July, a one day event for all people between the ages of 17-30, the day has talks, workshops, music, prayer, reflection and finishes with celebration of the Eucharist. Young people from every dioceses in Ireland will travel to the festival some using it as a world youth day reunion from Madrid 2011, others a chance to get away, some just coming ‘for a look’, others will use it as a follow up from the Eucharistic Congress.

Young people from the dioceses of Clogher, Raphoe, Kilmore, Elphin, Achonory and Tuam have decided to do a relay walk to the festival carrying a penal 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. It comes after an amazing week at the congress and before the year of faith which Archbishop Diarmuid Martin made reference to in his closing words at the ‘Statio Orbis’ ‘Tomorrow we must start our catechesis anew to prolong the fruits of this Eucharistic Congress through a dynamic of New Evangelization. The extraordinary interest that was shown in these days for the workshops and catecheses of the Congress tells us just how much thirst there is in our Catholic community to deepen the understanding of our faith’.

Young people of Ireland are realizing that they are indeed the ‘tomorrow’ that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is taking about and they are willing and excited about taking ownership of their faith and the important role they have to play in the church. Bishop Mc Keown who will walk with the young people is excited about the walk and what it means to young people “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 here 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.”

If you would like to take part in the Clogher Relay ring 00353 (0)47 72784. If you would like to find out more about the upcoming festival you can call 0876927850 or find them on facebook.