News archive 2005

World Youth Day reunion and open air Mass at Clonmacnoise on Sunday 18th September 2005

Press Release

9 September 2005

World Youth Day reunion and open air Mass

at Clonmacnoise on Sunday 18th September 2005

On Sunday 18th September at 3.00pm the Monastic Site of Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly,
will host a World Youth Day (WYD) reunion and open air Mass.

Youth clubs and organizations are warmly invited to take part in this reunion
and pilgrim walk along the ancient 1,500 year old way from the Esker Riada to
Clonmacnoise. This centuries old traditional pilgrimage or Pattern takes place
every September.

At this year’s Pattern local Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise Dr
Colm O’Reilly will be the Chief Celebrant at the open air Mass. Bishop O’Reilly
will be joined by Dr Jim Moriarty the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, who
will preach the homily.

Regarding the WYD reunion Bishop O’Reilly said: “We look forward to greeting
many new faces among the thousands at Sunday’s annual pilgrimage to the city
of St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise. This year we are extending an invitation to
the many young Irish people who recently returned from meeting Pope Benedict
XVI at his first World Youth Day event in Cologne, Germany to join us to give
thanks for the wonderful experience that was World Youth Day 2005.

“We will also be remembering Pope John Paul II and how he spoke about
Clonmacnoise after his 1979 Irish pilgrimage: ‘I will never forget that
place, in which we stopped for a short time, in the early morning hours,
on Sunday the 30th of September : Clonmacnoise. The ruins of the monastery
and of the churches speak of the life that once pulsated there… it is
difficult to look on these ruins merely as a monument of the past : whole
generations of Europe owe to them the light of the Gospel and the structural
framework of their culture. Those ruins are still charged with a great mission.
They still constitute a challenge…. Here is Ireland: at the heart of the
perennial mission of the Church, which St Patrick started.”

Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

NOTES TO EDITORS:
* Clonmacnoise is situated in the diocese of Ardagh & Clonmacnoise,
14 miles south of Athlone, where the centuries old traditional pilgrimage
or Pattern takes place every September.

* Walkers can assemble at 11.00am at Ballinahowen car park (just 5 miles
south of Athlone) for an audio visual presentation on the history of
Clonmacnoise. The walk will commence at approximately 11:30am. Proper
walking shoes and all weather clothes are advised.

* Groups may wish to take part in an overnight vigil starting at 12 noon
on Saturday 17th September and concluding at 11:00am Sunday in the
adjacent Clonmacnoise Prayer Centre. People planning for the overnight
vigil are advised to bring a packed lunch and sleeping bag.

* Many thousands traveled to Clonmacnoise in 1979 on the occasion of the
visit of the late Pope John Paul II. Clonmacnoise was chosen by the Irish
Bishops’ Conference in 2004 as the venue to celebrate the Silver Jubilee
of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland.
See www.catholiccommunications.ie/popeireland1979

* For a map of Clonmacnoise click on www.ardaghdiocese.org/page31.htm

* Further details on the event are available from the Ardagh and Clonmacnoise
Diocesan Office on 043 46432

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