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 penal cross and a flame. 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.
Groups accompanied by Bishop Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, will take part in the walk which will begin in Lough Derg on Monday 23 July and which will end in Knock to coincide with the 2012 Knock Summer Youth Festival on Saturday 28 July. 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 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 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."
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 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. 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."
The Knock Summer Youth Festival is a one-day event which will take place on Saturday 28 July at Knock Shrine. The event is for people between the ages of 17-30. The one-day festival comprises talks, workshops, music, prayer, reflection and finishes with celebration of the Eucharist.
For more information on Knock Summer Youth Festival see: http://www.knock-shrine.ie/youthfestival or find them on Facebook.