|Dawn prayer at 4am on the Fr Matthew Bridge in Dublin during Rio in Dublin.
Rio in Dublin was a great weekend. It was a powerful event with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement among the 500 or so hundred young Catholics who came and I really felt I was participating in the WYD programme.
It was a volunteer at the festival. It was held to coincide with the World Youth Day taking place in Brazil. I was there with several young men from the Presentation Brothers. We were an international group! Our first year novices Raj and Thieva (both from Sri Lanka), were joined by Tommy (from Liverpool), and our second year novices: Leonard and Sebastian from Ghana and McSimon from Nigeria. Br. Barry Noel (Grenada) was also a volunteer.
They reflected the richness, diversity and multi-cultural dimension of the larger group gathered from different communities around Ireland for the week end. The festival began with a social immersion programme by Magis Ireland which dealt with issues like homelessness, the plight of refugees and asylum seekers.
Our home for the Saturday night vigil was the Capuchin church at St Mary of the Angels in Dublin' city centre. Music and dance led by the Brazilian community in Dublin made it a very lively affair.
A programme of prayer, reflections, music and live links to Rio continued though out the week end until Mass on Sunday afternoon and a link up to Rio in Brazil for the homily of Pope Francis and the
announcement of the next Gathering of WYD in Krakow, Poland.
There were catechesis sessions, workshops on prayer, music, adoration, Taize and a dawn outdoor candlelight prayer. Music was provided by Teen Spirit, Elation Ministries, the Dublin Gospel Choir and the Brazilian community.
Next stop, Krakow, 2016!