Peace march as Limerick hosts Christian youth congress

NEARLY 700 people attending an international religious congress staged a peace walk through the streets of Limerick at the weekend.

Saturday’s walk was one of the events of the Religious Youth Congress, which attracted delegates from 23 countries.

One of the ceremonies was a Mass yesterday at which the chief concelebrant was Fr Joe Tobin from the US. He is superior general of the Redemptorist order, which has 5,500 priests and brothers worldwide.

A small number of Redemptoristine nuns, which is a contemplative order, travelled from their convent in Drumcondra. There are 12 Redemptoristine nuns in Ireland and about 1,200 worldwide.

The six-day congress, which commenced last Wednesday, focussed on the challenges of young people trying to live Christian lives.

Fr Gerard Moloney, one of the organisers said: “The congress was a celebration of our common lives.”

Most of those who participated were in the 18 to 25 age group and the biggest delegation, from Germany, was made up of more than 170. The congress was based at the University of Limerick campus, where Mass was celebrated yesterday.

Fr Moloney quipped: “Some of our Limerick priests didn’t make it and I suspect they were watching events from Croke Park.”

The last big social event of the congress was a huge barbecue which took place at the UL campus last night.

The congress was initiated in 1987. The last one was held in Germany three years ago. Limerick was chosen as a venue due to its long association with the order.

The first Redemptorist community in Ireland was established in Limerick in the early 1850s.

Redemptorist Bishop Kevin Dowling from South Africa was the chief celebrant at a concelebrated Mass at Mount St Alphonsus monastery after Saturday’s march.

A reconciliation ceremony was held at St John’s Cathedral on Friday.

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