Voices from the Congress
The views of some of those who attended the Congress
PAULINE HUGHES WARD
It was wonderful, very uplifting. Not all of the music was familiar to me but still I rather enjoyed it.
I was delighted with the weather. I thought the papal legate was superb. He was a very good speaker, and his accent was just beautiful when he spoke English.
Originally from the Philippines
I really liked hearing the experiences of people who told how they were converted. There was the engineer who talked about the transformation he had and finally became a monk. And I enjoyed the bit when they said where the next congress would be, because it is going to be in the Philippines.
It was a really good Mass. I was busy with my kids – Jan is three and Daniel is seven and a half. I was worried it wouldn’t be good for children, but Jan went asleep and Daniel was okay. I bought him chocolate. This was our first time to go to the congress and I was quite impressed with all the people there.
VICTORIA KAVANAGH MAHONY
It was a really spiritual day and very special. It was great to be involved in it. It was fabulous, the way it was organised as well. It was amazing to see so many people gathered together for the cause of the Mass. We’d always go to Mass on Sunday, but this was a special Mass, a one-off.
Headford, Co Galway
It was very enjoyable but a bit on the cold side. It was all about the occasion for me.
I loved that it was a religious gathering bringing people together. And it was great to see so many people here, all united in the one belief.
I play Gaelic so I would have been in Croke Park loads of times, but it was quite strange to see all the bishops on the pitch instead of the players standing just before the national anthem. I enjoyed it and I definitely got a lot out of it . . . I wasn’t going to come but my mum was like “Do you want to come down?” so I said “Aye, I’ll go.”
Harold’s Cross, Dublin
I was at the congress in 1932 and yes, I’m still alive. I was 13 and at school when the first one happened in 1932. We walked all through the middle of Dublin singing. We were ... strong-minded young people, weren’t we? I liked today very much – we got a little bit of a party because we were at the last congress.
Oranmore, Co Galway
The Mass was the highlight for me. Another highlight was some of the testimonies from the people. They were great. The whole occasion was special.
There were so many young people there, too, which was great to see. We didn’t expect that. It was a lovely, lovely day. But oh, it was so cold.
Harold’s Cross, Dublin
I was about 10 and still in short pants when I went to the last Eucharistic Congress. I remember coming here to Croke Park for rehearsals . . . All the Christian Brothers schools were here for a Mass choir and it was a sweltering day. We were getting sunstroke. We got free grub today, which was more than we got in 1932.
It was a special kind of occasion, something very different for me. It was nice to see so many cultures from all over the world. And to see so many priests together in the one place; all the white, it was amazing.
And it’s going down in history isn’t it? It’s such a big thing to be a part of.