By Sean Ryan - 24 June, 2016
"I think they are living the gospel of Jesus, the gospel message of caring and compassion, even though they may not be coming to church.”
While many young people have turned away from the Church, they are still carrying out the teachings of Christ, Fr Peter McVerry has highlighted.
In a homily last weekend, the Jesuit priest addressed the question of why so many young people are turning away from the Church.
He pointed out that there was another way of looking at this as the majority of young people nowadays do actually carry out the teachings of the Church and the Gospel.
Speaking at the Moyross Novena in Limerick, Fr McVerry said, “The Church is supposed to continue the message of Jesus, but what the Church is saying is seen by many to be totally irrelevant. Instead of thousands of people coming as they did to listen to Jesus, thousands of people are walking away from the Church,” he said.
However, Fr McVerry, who founded the Arrupe Society in 1983 which was later renamed the Fr Peter McVerry Trust – a charity which helps tackle homelessness in Dublin’s north inner city, said “Young people today have an extraordinary sense of fairness, and a great sense of justice”.
Fr McVerry cited Belvedere College’s annual sleep-out which took place last year from December 22 to 24 and saw students sleep out at two locations in Dublin – the Bank of Ireland at College Green and the GPO in O’Connell Street.
As many as 70 students from the Jesuit run college slept on the streets for two nights in the run up to Christmas to draw attention to the problem of homelessness in the capital.
The annual event, which was first established in 1983, “is oversubscribed by more than two-to-on”’ according to Fr McVerry.
“You ask somebody to do something for someone in need, and they will do it. They will jump to do it, and they are delighted to do it. I think they are living the gospel of Jesus, the gospel message of caring and compassion, even though they may not be coming to church,” he said.
Other speakers at this year’s Corpus Christi Novena in Moyross include the Founder of Pieta House, Joan Freeman, Nuala Casey, a Dublin-based mother whose son Craig took his own life at the age of 17, and Joanne O’Riordan, one of only seven living people born with the condition Tetra-amelia syndrome.