At CONNECT 4 in Cork - a faith centred event for young adults. Attendees pictured outside the Honan Chapel, UCC

Over 200 hundred young Catholics spending a day listening to a monsignor and a bishop is a rare event these days!

But this is what happened on Sunday in the grounds of University College Cork when a prominent American priest addressed the topic ‘What does it mean to be Catholic today?’

Msgr. James Shea is president of the University of Mary, North Dakota, USA, and was the guest speaker at CONNECT 4 in Cork on Sunday last.

“Young people who are searching believe they are alone and nobody is listening, so we feel we might as well suffer in silence,” Msgr Shea said.  “But that’s not what God wants.”

This was the fourth in a series of meetings of young people which were initiated by Bishop Fintan Gavin, Bishop of Cork and Ross, to help young Catholics connect with one another in a sociable and reflective atmosphere.

Elizabeth O’Shea (Waterford and Lismore), Anna O’Shaughnessy (Glanmire) and Philomena Tierney (Roscrea)

At CONNECT 4 in Cork - a faith centred event for young adults.- Eva Conroy (Focus UCC), Sara Pigliapoco (UCC student) and Maria Mazzucchi (UCC student)Eva Conroy (Focus UCC), Sara Pigliapoco (UCC student) and Maria Mazzucchi (UCC student)

Speaking to the young people between 18 and 35 years, Msgr Shea said that Catholic faith brings us into something much more than we could do on our own. We are brought into union with God and with one another, he said.

“Emmanuel means God with us. He wants to be in our lives. Those who are broken have a Saviour who was crowned with thorns and whose back was broken. Those who feel alone have a Saviour who was betrayed and abandoned. Those on the point of despair have a Saviour who cried out on the cross ‘my God, my God, why have thou abandoned me’. Those who are poor have a God whose only possession was a garment that was ripped off him. Those who worry have Jesus who looked down from the cross and saw his own mother. Jesus is with us in the midst of our lives.”

During the day, as well as listening to Msgr. Shea’s presentations, the young people participated in discussions which also included Bishop Fintan, attended Mass and spent time in quiet prayer.

Bishop Fintan asked the young people to believe that God has a plan for each one at this time. “You were born for this! You are not alive right now by chance. God chose you to be born. He willed for you to be alive right now, with all that's happening in the world, our country, and His Church.”
“This is the time you are called to be disciples,” he said.

The young people who attended said it was a moving, powerful event.

Sarah Ryan Purcell from Blackrock, Cork, said that Msgr. Shea’s central message was that young people are not alone.

“This message holds extra weight for young people of faith as we can sometimes feel isolated or alone in our parishes,” she said. “Importantly, our Bishop and Msgr. Shea gave us tips on how to sustain our faith and to sustain the energy and joy we have built up together today. We must share our faith through our actions.”

Jack Maguire from Bantry said he also really enjoyed the day.

“Monsignor Shea and Bishop Fintan delivered very engaging talks which encouraged us to seek the Lord at all times. It was also great to speak to like-minded young Catholics, who desire unity with Christ in their lives.”

At CONNECT 4 in Cork - a faith centred event for young adults were Miriam Goulding (Sacred Heart Parish), Gavin Dunne (Laois) and Sean Flack (Dublin)Miriam Goulding (Sacred Heart Parish), Gavin Dunne (Laois) and Sean Flack (Dublin)

At CONNECT 4 in Cork - a faith centred event for young adults were Mary Crowley (Cork) and Eilis Butler (Innishannon)Mary Crowley (Cork) and Eilis Butler (Innishannon)
Among those at CONNECT 4 in Cork - a faith centred event for young adults - were Brendan Keenan, Nicholas Abusada, André Guérin, Colin Caulfield.Brendan Keenan, Nicholas Abusada, André Guérin, Colin Caulfield.

 

Maura McDonald, Ireland Johnson, Eva Conroy, Sara Pigliapoco, Alex O’Doherty, Grace Stier were at CONNECT 4 in Cork - a faith centred event for young adults.Maura McDonald, Ireland Johnson, Eva Conroy, Sara Pigliapoco, Alex O’Doherty, Grace Stier
At CONNECT 4 in Cork - a faith centred event for young adults were Back row: Francis Collins (Clonakilty), Mary Crowley (Cork) and Jack Maguire (Bantry). Front row: Colm Butler (Innishannon), Eilis Butler (Innishannon), Aoibh Kingston (Gurranabraher), Saoirse Kingston (Gurranabraher) and David Rivera (Cork City).Back row: Francis Collins (Clonakilty), Mary Crowley (Cork) and Jack Maguire (Bantry)
Front row: Colm Butler (Innishannon), Eilis Butler (Innishannon), Aoibh Kingston (Gurranabraher), Saoirse Kingston (Gurranabraher) and David Rivera (Cork City)

 

Attendees from the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore at CONNECT 4 in Cork - a faith centred event for young adults.Attendees from the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore
 

Simple Social Media Stream: There is no feed data to display!