Massgoers urged to fill €4m gap in papal visit costs

Massgoers urged to fill €4m gap in papal visit costs Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Phoenix Park in Dublin. Photo: CNS

Parishioners will be asked to dig deep next weekend to plug a shortfall in cash after August’s World Meeting of Families and the visit of Pope Francis.

It will be the fifth time that a national collection has been taken up in parishes in a bid to cover costs associated with the event and visit of the Pontiff.

The hosting of the event including Pope Francis’ visit during the summer, cost the Church just under €20m.

Some €15m was raised through past parish collections and other donations from home and abroad in the run-up to August’s celebration, but a deficit of €4m remains.

The Diocese of Ossory, in an appeal to its 85,000 parishioners, said: “The overall cost to the Church in Ireland for hosting WMOF comes to €19.4m.

“To date, €15.4m has been raised by way of local Church collections and by other donations. This leaves us with a deficit of €4m.

“To help defray this debt we are asking you, once again, for your support in promoting our fifth national collection which will take place in churches, North and South, over the weekend of November 10-11,” the diocese said.

While Dublin Diocese was the host of the event, the hierarchy agreed to cover costs as a whole. The State is expected to have spent around €10m on security, logistics and other supports.