Bless Me, I'm Irish

John Paul II generation takes off in Ireland.
by Michael Mitchell, LC | Source: Good News

Naysayers and pessimists have had their time in the European spotlight, but not anymore. A generation of young and active Catholics, known as the John Paul II Generation, is stealing the show.

So, what’s the good news in Ireland?  Take a look at the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. Thanks to the youth of the John Paul II Generation and a proactive and energetic Bishop Jim Moriarty, things are taking off.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has had many hurdles to leap in the last twenty years. Once a bastion of Christianity sending missionaries to all corners of the globe, recently it has suffered from a lack of vocations and a reduction in church attendance.   As well, economic growth has transformed Ireland into the Celtic Tiger, fostering a growth in materialism that seems to have blinded the Irish like a burst of sunlight.  But now that their eyes have gotten used to the light, they’ve looked around and found Ireland wanting.  Enter the John Paul II Generation!

The New Evangelization called for by John Paul II is now in full swing for the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. A dynamic “Reach Out” campaign sprung up in 2004, the fruits have come pouring in.  They include a renewed diocesan faith development team, new and bigger diocesan offices, an upturn in vocations, a dynamic youth ministry, and greater mass attendance.

This is even greater news when we take into account that Kildare and Leighlin are the fastest growing areas in Ireland.  This means that not only is the Church regaining strength, but also right in the heart of the Celtic Tiger!

Other aspects of the “Reach Out” campaign involve mass mailings, apostolates promoting family prayer and Christmas and Easter Traditions, radio programs and a very popular diocesan webpage:, as well, the diocese sent the second largest group of youth to the World Youth Day in Cologne, second only to Dublin. Organization for the WYD in Sydney has been well under way for the past year with another large group already signed up. 

Vocations are up.  Six young men have entered the seminary since September of 2006.  This number may seem small but it is above average since last year there were only 9 ordinations to the priesthood in all of Ireland.  Small steps, but steps in the right direction!

John Paul II left the Catholic Church a long lasting legacy.  But I believe the greatest fruits are yet to be seen.  This generation has grown up with a hero in John Paul II.  Once this generation is fully on its feet, we will then truly see the greatness of his pontificate.  Pope Benedict can look out onto the Church with hope.  He knows that the Holy Spirit has been very active lately.   

This generation is proving to be the key element of the New Evangelization for the Church and I am proud to be one of them! 

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Post a Comment
Published by: CN User
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Good Job!

Published by: CN User
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Good Job!

Published by: CN User
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Good Job!

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