Up to 8,000 volunteers needed for papal Mass in Phoenix Park

Stewards to be provided with uniform and undertake training ahead of the occasion

Up to 4,000 volunteers are being sought by organisers to act as stewards at the Mass to be celebrated by Pope Francis in Dublin's Phoenix Park on Sunday, August 26th.

A further 4,000 people are needed to help distribute Communion among the 500,000 people who have tickets.

World Meeting of Families 2018 spokeswoman Brenda Drumm said that "with just six weeks to go we are opening up a new opportunity for those who can be available to be papal Mass stewards and Holy Communion team volunteers for the closing Mass".

The number of stewards required was “between 3, 500 and 4,000,” she said, with as many more again needed as Holy Communion team volunteers.


Anyone over the age of 18 can be a steward while teenagers aged 16 and 17 can volunteer as part of a group with an adult leader. Their primary role will involve helping people into the Park, around the Park, and out of the Park after the Mass. They will work in two-hour shifts.

Stewards will be provided with a uniform and undertake a training session with follow up venue-specific training closer to the Mass date. Garda vetting is not required, but stewards must have photo identification and complete a reference check before being accepted.

On the day they will be supported by Garda-vetted personnel. Food and refreshments will be provided, but stewards will be expected to look after their own transport and accommodation.

Requirements are different for the Holy Communion team. These will be people who are already trained and assist with the distribution of Holy Communion in parishes. They will need to be Garda vetted even if they have been checked for this ministry in their parish.

They will also need to be steady on their feet as much of the distribution will be in grassy corrals at the Phoenix Park. And though the Mass will not begin until 3pm, they will need to be in the Park by 10.30am that Sunday so they can be walked through how and where they will distribute Communion.

Well over half a million Communion hosts will be available, prepared by the Redemptoristine Sisters of St Alphonsus's Monastery in Dublin 9 and the Cistercian Sisters at Glencairn in Co Waterford.

Those wishing to be stwards at the papal Mass or part of the Holy Communion Team will find further details at here.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times