The whole of Ireland came to a standstill as the Eucharistic Congress came to town. People had booked the annual vacation around it and came from all over the island. This was the event on the year. The year being 1932!
80 years on and it’s back in Dublin. Ireland in the 1930’s was a very different place. We were 10 years after the civil wars and a little more than that with the War of Independence. This generation doesn’t know what that kind of fighting entails, we only know of it second hand. So in 1932 we are in search of leadership or a guiding light and that came with the Eucharistic Congress. Well timed by Rome I would say!
In 2012 we are in a similar position, in search of a guide that could lead us in the right direction. With all that has come out about the Catholic Church I’m not sure it’s the guiding light we need these days. It’s like sweeping the floor with a broken brush, but we can’t tar all with this same broken brush. There are many within the Church who have done fantastic work and put others before themselves, it’s important not to forget this!
One question, where was the Pope this week? He sent his right hand man. Big deal! It’s like waiting for the lead singer of a band and getting the bass player (respect to all bass players) I think we deserve more than that for the Church who has left its children weak and unprotected, at home and abroad.
I don’t even think we know what the Eucharistic Congress actually means. I asked an old fella in a pub in Galway the other evening what he thought about it and he said ‘is that what we voted on last week’ referring to the Stability Treaty referendum. This man is in his late 60’s and you’d imagine his generation would be clued into something like this.
The Irish term for it is ‘Comh Dháil Corp Chríost.' The word Dáil basically means coming a gathering and Corp Chríost meaning the Body of Christ. The Word Comh stands out to me. It means to be equal. Who is equal to what?
I go to mass maybe twice monthly. Do I believe everything the priest says on the altar? No! Do I get solace and peace of mind from it? Yes I sure do!
There is mass every day at 10am in the Augustinian church in Galway city. You are literally in and out within 20 mins. No peace shaking hands and no messing. You get your communion and away you go. It’s a great place for people spotting. You can see the holy joes a mile away.
Last time, there was one guy who seemed out of place, he looked like he played in a Bon Jovi tribute band. Then he got up to do one on the readings.
I speak to the man above all the time, usually with a series of questions. Stupid ones, but I like to ask. For example, if the Eucharistic Congress is all about the Eucharistic and the Eucharistic is one of the most important parts of the Church. Why can’t a person who is Celiac receive normal communion? Surely to God (you God) you could sort this one out! Anyway I was on my way out of the Church and this older lady came up to me and said that I was disrespectful because I didn’t shave before coming to Mass. I told her that ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ’ had a beard and was unshaven. She smirked and walked away as to say I’ll never watch you on TV again. Whoops!
The event has been over shadowed by the soccer Euro’s. This is very noticeable in the media coverage which I think is a good indicator these days of what people are interested in. It even seems that the WAG’s (wife’s and girlfriends of the footballers) are getting more inches! Actually their high heels and what they are wearing at the games seems to be more important that the footballers kit.
If Communion, high heels and throw backs to the 1930’s doesn’t do it for you, we always have our Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, who landed himself in the ‘bogside’ this week by referring to Doire Cholm Cille or Derry as London Derry. What’s next, a Minister calling Galway Clare-Galway!