Drawn by “like-minded people” and in “hope of an uplifting event”, thousands of people packed the main hall at Dublin’s RDS for the 26th Divine Mercy Conference last weekend.
According to organisers, despite pressure on Dublin accommodation from the Ireland v France Six Nations rugby clash at the nearby Aviva Stadium, the Divine Mercy recorded at least 3,000 people attending on the first day, and 2,000 on Sunday – with many more watching from afar on the event’s live stream online.
Gathering to the theme ‘Have Mercy of us and the whole world’, visitors filled the available seating on both days to hear from inspirational speakers such as Robert Stackpole, Fr Bernard J. McGuckian SJ, Spiritual Director with the Pioneer Association of the Sacred Heart, Denise Kelly of the Pro Life Campaign and Frances Hogan of EWTN.
Event organiser and MC Don Devaney told The Irish Catholic that the feedback from visitors to date was that this had been “the most spiritual conference to date”.
“We had hoped people would be encouraged and they were,” Mr Davaney said, adding, “the call to be Apostles of Mercy was very well received.”
Asked to account for the continuing success of the conference, Mr Devaney said that lay in the gathering “giving support to people of faith, bringing them together to support each other”.
When pushed to nominate a personal highlight of the event this year, he said the Healing Service, conducted by Fr Eunan McDonnell SDB, the Divine Mercy’s new spiritual director, had been “one of the most powerful in the 26 years” and had brought a flurry of positive responses from participants.
Mr Devaney also revealed that a major international television network, Shalom TV, which reaches some 250 million people across Africa, the Middle East and the Philippines, filmed the conference and will screen it for its viewers this Divine Mercy Sunday, April 23.