Late-night confessional services have been set up for inner city shoppers in Dublin this month in preparation for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), which begins on 10th June.
Dublin City Churches, including the Pro-Cathedral, Clarendon Street Church, and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, have introduced the service to entice Thursday night shoppers to pop in, reports the Irish Catholic.
The Catholic publication joshes that for those who indulge in “splashing out on luxury items in a recession, help is at hand for those guilty consciences”.
This additional service is just one of the changes being made to normal Catholic Church services as the city prepares for the International Eucharistic Congress this month.
Cities such as Limerick and Dublin are holding their first “Caminos” (walking pilgrimages). The idea was inspired by the old Roman custom of visiting seven Churches during Lent. According to the Irish Times, the organizers “hope it will help pilgrims strengthen and renew their faith”.
Speaking to the Irish Catholic, Father Alphonsus Cullinan, diocesan delegate for the International Eucharistic Congress, said, “Over recent months we have, through a range of different events, been preparing for what is an essential moment for our Church here in Ireland, the Eucharistic Congress. Many parishes have organized special events in preparation.”
Father Damian O’Reilly, administrator of the Pro-Cathedral and one of the Dublin pilgrimage organizers, said that interest in the walk has been high and that 30,000 ‘passports’ have been ordered.
He said “There is great excitement in each of the parishes, where there will be volunteer pilgrimage ambassadors to greet the pilgrims and stamp their passports. The volunteers see it as a way of showcasing both their churches and their parishes; there is a great pride of place.”