Dublin awaits Pope Francis

Last minute preparations are continuing unabated ahead of the Pope’s Apostolic Journey to Ireland at the weekend. St Michan’s Parish in the heart of Dublin is busy getting ready with people putting up bunting and flags in Vatican colours to welcome the Holy Father.

Parish Priest Fr Bryan Shortall told Vatican News that “things are really getting exciting… people are starting to feel this for lots of reasons; feel it for pure excitement, feel it for some kind of a spiritual renewal but also for the opportunity to meet with people, especially people coming from overseas.” The Capuchin priest added, that many from the Parish will be walking together to the nearby Phoenix Park to watch the Pope preside over Mass there.

Importance of Papal Visit

Asked about the timing of this visit of Pope Francis, the Dublin priest commented that “there has never been a better time for the Holy Father to come to Ireland than now and I am very confident that there will be a renewal and I’m very hopeful for this (visit). I do believe we really need the Holy Father to come and we are very much looking forward to the Holy Father coming.”

The Irish and Family

Describing the importance of the family in Ireland, Fr Bryan noted that what he sees in his parish are the aunts and uncles, cousins and parents, but there is also the extended family who are the neighbours and friends. The Irish are very good at reaching out to each other especially at a time of great need, such as a bereavement, he continued. “When I think of the World Meeting of Families I think of those families”, he said.

By Lydia O’Kane