Knock hosts inaugural JPII Festival

Over 150 young people from several dioceses throughout Ireland gathered last weekend for the first ever John Paul II Fest at Knock Shrine.

The national day of celebration was for those who have either completed the John Paul II Award or are currently involved in the programme. Frank McGuinness, director of Youth Ministries in the Elphin diocese, told The Irish Catholic that the
aim was to give the young people an opportunity to come together in a national gathering.

“There is a great energy when young people get together and we wanted them to experience that at this national shrine in Knock, which had been a focal point of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland, and it will have been the first time for many of them to be here.”

With Elation Ministries setting the tempo for the day, there was a variety of talks and workshops based on four different themes, covering parables, miracles, table fellowship and discipleship.

The day concluded with Mass in the Apparition Chapel celebrated by Bishop Donal McKeown, who encouraged the young people to learn from the example of Pope John Paul II.

“We will be renewed when we discover the outstanding love of God for all people,” he said.