Congress is 'a festive way' to celebrate faith
MY FAITH:AS IS the case with most young people, while I was growing up I did not feel a part of the wider faith community and I did not believe that faith, whatever that meant, was particularly relevant to me. This, paired with lack of opportunities to engage with my faith in a meaningful way, led to feelings of alienation from a church – feelings that many today regrettably share.
My attitude to faith changed during a trip to Lourdes as a youth helper with the Limerick Diocesan Youth Pilgrimage when I was 18. Out there, I got a new insight into faith, one that showed to me that it is to be found through, not just prayer, but other people, through their goodness, through community.
On my return, I wanted to continue this experience of learning and giving and became more involved at parish level and later at diocesan level with youth group Muintearas Íosa, which has been running for more than 30 years in the Diocese of Limerick. Through my involvement in youth ministry with this group, I am now working to change the alienation and dismissive attitude towards faith that I once held myself.
I see the Eucharistic Congress as an opportunity for people to renew their faith. And, in some cases, discover it. It comes also at a time of great need for the church, a church that does so much good and brings so much good to people’s lives. The congress offers a more profound and festive way of allowing people to celebrate their faith.
There is no doubt in my mind that young people are full of faith but it needs to be nurtured. Trying to help them do this is one of the reasons I find working in youth ministry so meaningful.
Lorna Murphy (24), from Limerick and studying at Mater Dei, in conversation with Rosita Boland