For the last two years the Parish Pastoral Council of the Parish of St. Nicholas, Carrick on Suir, has organized a series of reflections on the Wednesday evenings of Lent. The Youth Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society are asked each year to organize and lead one of these.
This year being the Bi-centenary of the birth of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, founder of the Society, and the year when two of the conference members travel to Wold Youth Day in Brazil, the conference decided to involve the Society in a special way.
The Youth Liturgy Committee helped to draw up a special Society-centred liturgy. The conference members proclaimed the readings and led the prayers in their own inimitable way: much lighting of candles, raising of outstretched hands and prayerful silences, and walked among the congregation offering a hand-shake of peace. 7.30 on Wednesday, 13th March, 2013! Someone very important had just, two minutes earlier, appeared on a balcony in Rome.
Not to be beaten by bad timing, one of the conference members was seen at 7. 23 peering, with the presider, Fr. Geoghegan, at an iphone: yes, we really had a new pope, and a name, Pope Francis –Francis? – for whom we prayed in the liturgy. Just in time!
The congregation was addressed by Geoff Meagher, National President of the Society, reflecting on the work and example of Blessed Frederic.