While it can be a source of worry for many to think about the future of religion in Ireland, a Dublin conference which gathers young believers from all corners of the island is proving that the Faith is in strong and able hands.
The Evangelium project seeks to be a platform to inspire and encourage young Irish Catholics to live out and share their Catholic faith in the modern world.
These young people will be the next generation of Catholic priests, religious, wives and husbands and will help rebuild and reignite the Catholic faith in Ireland.
In 2014, the first Evangelium conference was held in Ireland, taking place in St Patrick’s College Maynooth and ran continuously up until 2017. After a brief hiatus to celebrate the World Meeting of Families, the Evangelium conference was relaunched this year. In mid-July, over 80 young Catholics from across the island of Ireland gathered in All Hallows DCU for the Evangelium conference.
This large group of eager and enthusiastic young Catholics were not disappointed with the conference.
They were treated to excellent and engaging talks by Prof. Andrew Meszaros on Sacred Scripture, Dom Hildebrand of the Benedictine Monks in Sliverstream Priory spoke on the Eucharist and Fr Eamon McCarthy from Radio Maria explored the subject of sin. There was also the opportunity for workshops on authentic masculinity and femininity led by the Dominican sisters from Limerick and Senior Counsel Ben O’Floinn.
Mass was concelebrated in the historic old college chapel with the choir providing a beautiful array of hymns and Gregorian chant. The day concluded with an apologetics panel much added to by Fr Seán Corkery, which raised some very relevant and interesting topics for discussion. A social was held afterwards with discussion continuing long in to the night.
Describing the conference as a “great success”, spiritual director of Evangelium Fr Damien Lynch said: “The enthusiasm of the 80 young participants from all corners of the island, a record number for the conference, was truly uplifting. It indicated for me that not only is there a hunger among young people for ‘more’ but that this hunger can only be satiated by the fullness of the Catholic faith in its beauty and in the challenges it presents.
“The speakers, the topics treated, the reverent celebration of Holy Mass, with its beautiful music and time spent in one anothers company all converged to make it a wonderfully Catholic occasion and one that I look forward to experiencing again next year.”