Irish pilgrims receive their Leaving Certificate results at World Youth Day in Madrid

18 Aug 2011


17 August 2011

Irish pilgrims receive their Leaving Certificate results at World Youth Day in Madrid

A number of young pilgrims from the Diocese of Meath have received their Leaving Certificate results today whilst attending World Youth Day celebrations this week in Madrid.  World Youth Day offers young pilgrims a unique way to deepen their faith and grow closer to Christ, by means of prayer and the sacraments, and to share this experience together with thousands of other young people with common interests and ambitions.

WYD 2011 is a great worldwide encounter between Pope Benedict XVI and young people, culminating this Sunday with an open-air Mass. The theme chosen for WYD is ‘Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith’ which is taken from St Paul.  Hundreds of Irish pilgrims, priests and bishops are attending WYD this week in Madrid.

Similar to groups in every diocese in Ireland (see below), the Meath diocesan youth team has been preparing for WYD celebrations for months, led by Fiona McCabe, Hannah Evans and Patricia McKenna.  The youth team has been joined by Meath senior footballer Joe Sheridan who is taking part in the event for the first time. Fr Declan Hurley commissioned some of the pilgrims with a blessing at Mass in Saint Mary’s Church, Navan last Sunday (14 August).

Diocesan youth team leader Hannah Evans from Mullingar said, “World Youth Day is a celebration of faith and an opportunity to be present while Pope Benedict directly addresses young members of the Catholic Church from Ireland and around the world.  I’m sure he will encourage us to live the faith in our daily lives. It also gives us a chance to forge new friendships with young like-minded people from all corners of the world.”

Meath Senior County footballer Joe Sheridan, who is also attending Madrid as a pilgrim, said “This is the first time that I have attended a World Youth Day event and it is a wonderful opportunity and faith experience.  I have been working on a project which links Leaving Certificate students with a sports scholarship programme at third level and this is supported by the Gaelic Players Association.  I encourage all young people to use their gifts and talents as best they can. For the young people present here in Madrid, it is particularly memorable to receive their Leaving Certificate results at World Youth Day. I wish the class of 2011 all the best today and in the future.”


Notes for Editors

•    If media wish to contact with the Meath Leaving Certificate pilgrims in Madrid please contact Fr Paul Crosbie, Diocesan Communications Officer for Meath 00353 (0) 86 7900 028; Ms Hannah Evans 00353 (0) 87 936 5767; or the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth on 00 353 (0) 1 5053017 or 00 353 (0) 86 1727678.

•    International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland 2012 Staff from the IEC2012 office are attending World Youth Day in Madrid this week to spread the word about the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June 2012. They will have an exhibition stand at the WYD event and they will also be focusing on areas where English-speaking pilgrims are to share material with them.

About World Youth Day
•    WYD was initiated by Blessed John Paul II in 1985 as a way to inspire young people and to encourage them in living the teachings of Jesus.
•    It shows the diversity and universality of the Church as young people gather from many nations and countries around the globe to celebrate their faith together. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is the Patron Saint of World Youth Day.

•    World Youth Day is a week-long celebration attracting hundreds of thousands of young people from countries around the world, who gather together to celebrate and learn about their Catholic faith. Young people will be encouraged to learn, discuss and often debate their faith.  The day usually begins with Morning Prayer, followed by an address from one of the many bishops taking part from across the world, question time and then Mass.

•    The highlight of World Youth Day 2011 is a “giant celebration” and this comprises a prayer vigil and a closing Mass at which Pope Benedict XVI presides. This will take place in Madrid on 20 21 August at an air base whose length is equivalent to 48 football fields, with the capacity to host the one million pilgrims who are expected to attend the events.

A special feature is available on which also includes:
•    Pope Benedict XVI’s message for World Youth Day 2011
•    Link to the World Youth Day website
•    Link to special Vatican feature on World Youth Day 2011
•    An interview with Fr Liam Morgan on World Youth Day

The following is an overview of the Irish diocesan pilgrimages to World Youth Day 2011. Please note that this information is subject to change:

Ten young people travelled from the Diocese of Achonry accompanied by two priests and one female lay leader. The venue for the ‘days in the diocese’ was St Nathy’s Pastoral Centre, Charlestown, Co Mayo.

Ardagh and Clonmacnois
Eight young people from the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois are attending World Youth Day with one lay leader. The days in the Diocese was spent in the Diocese of Segovia.

130 young people from the Archdiocese of Armagh are in Madrid, with seven priests, two Deacons and 25 lay staff (leaders and helpers).
Cardinal Seán Brady will also be attending also. The venue for the Archdiocese of Armagh’s “days in the diocese” was Terrassa Diocese, Barcelona.

66 young people will travel from the Diocese of Clogher to the World Youth Day event in Madrid. They will be accompanied by one priest and one lay leader.

14 young people will travel from the Diocese of Clonfert accompanied by one priest and two lay staff. Bishop Kirby will attend also.

Down and Connor
42 young people have gone from the Diocese of Down and Connor. They are accompanied by eight priests and lay staff including Bishop Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, Fr Raymond McCullough, Fr Tony Fitzsimons and five lay co-ordinators. The group stayed in the parish of Porto during its “days in the diocese”.

22 young people from the Diocese Dromore will attend WYD. The group will also include two seminarians and the Diocesan Youth Director.

151 young people travelled to World Youth Day from the Archdiocese of Dublin accompanied by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Bishop Raymond Field, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, and three lay staff and five priests. The diocese’s youth agency, Catholic Youth Care, are animating the English catechesis sessions during World Youth Day.

30 young people from the Diocese of Elphin will be attending World Youth Day, accompanied by two priests and one lay leader.

40 young people from the Diocese of Ferns travel to World Youth Day accompanied by four priests and lay staff. Bishop Denis Brennan, Bishop of Ferns will also be attending.

A group of 30 young people from the Diocese of Galway will travel to World Youth Day accompanied by one priest, one seminarian and the diocesan youth ministry coordinator. Bishop Martin Drennan will also be attending.

The Diocese of Kerry has a group of 32 participating in World Youth Day, made up of one priest, one lay staff and one adult volunteer as leaders, with 29 young adults.

Kildare and Leighlin
The Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin has 128 confirmed to travel including seven priests, three seminarians from Kildare & Leighlin, three religious sisters and the Diocesan Youth Ministry team who will be staying in Collado Mediano.

Six young people will travel to WYD in Madrid from Killala Diocese along with one priest and one lay person.

Seventeen young people from Killaloe are attending WYD with one priest and one lay person. The group participated in the days in the diocese in Toledo.

Twenty young adults from the Diocese of Kilmore, including a Diocesan Youth Worker, are participating in World Youth Day.

The Diocese of Limerick has 34 young people attending World Youth Day and they will be accompanied by nine priests and lay staff. Bishop Donal Murray, Bishop Emeritus of the diocese will be attending World Youth Day. GAA senior Limerick hurler Seamus Hickey is also numbered amongst the Limerick pilgrims.

41 young people, including GAA senior footballer Joe Sheridan, are travelling from the Diocese of Meath accompanied by three priests and two lay volunteers.

A group of 30 young people have travelled from the Archdiocese of Tuam to WYD. The group includes three priests and is being led by Fr Tod Nolan Director of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese. In preparation for their pilgrimage the group has met at monthly intervals since Christmas – climbing Croagh Patrick, Walking the Way of the Cross at Killary, watching and exploring movies (‘The Way’ and ‘Of God’s and Men’).