The Knock Summer Festival 2011: a Catholic Youth Festival
I picked up a leaflet for the Knock Summer Festival – 24 to 26 June 2011 in a church at the weekend and thought it worth finding out more.
“The countdown is on to one of the greatest weekends you’ll experience this Summer”
says the Knock Summer Festival 2011 website, and if the quotes are to be believed – “It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, there was something for everyone to enjoy – absolutely fantastic!” – then the organisers have a lot to deliver to an audience of “strictly” 18 to 35 year olds.
It would be very easy for me to post cynically about this. My own faith in the Roman Catholic Church as an organisation or as suitable guidance in religion, in lifestyle or even in living as Jesus would have wanted has severely diminished to practically nothing over the years. I do believe in something that I call “God”, but it’s as far removed from the Man-In-The-Clouds notion as you could get.
Instead I’ll say honestly that it’s great to see young people still prepared to explore their beliefs and to be open to possibilities. My faith was hugely important to me for most of my life.
The description of the festival on the website is as follows:
Come and Join us for a festival with a difference.
This weekend is for all people aged 18-35. It is a chance to come away and rest for a while. There is loads happening throughout the weekend, talks, workshops, music, prayer, reflection, fun and loads of chill out time…..
You don’t have to be a practicing Catholic to attend this event. It is for anyone who may want a weekend away to relax, recharge, and re energize…
The festival is a three-day event. Over the weekend there will be talks, workshops, prayer, reflection, music and more.
The theme of this years festival is ‘Fuel For The Journey’
The weekend has something for everyone to choose from, there will be talks, workshops, share groups, music, quiet time, chill out time and prayer and reflection.
It is a weekend different to any other you will experience this Summer
The latter sentence there is probably most appropriate for me to pick up on. This certainly is something different and not one that I actually imagined was still happening in Ireland today.
They’ve invited speakers including Lino Rulli, who has a daily radio show called “The Catholic Guy” across North America. Music is by Elation Ministeries – “a group of young people who endeavour to bring the Gospel to other young people through music”.
The programme of events – a tad too long to copy and paste below – includes:
Friday 24th June
8:30 Talk ‘Fuel for the journey’-Ronan Johnson
9:00 Hip hop dancing with Elaine Griffen & dance crew
9:30 Concert with Elation Ministries
10:30 Night Prayer
11:00 Open Mic in chill out café
Saturday 25th June
8:00 Morning Prayer & Breakfast
10:00 Talk “Are we running on empty?”-Lino Rulli
11:00 Choice of Workshops:
Dancing in Divine Rythm -Sr. Bernadette Purcell
Clay & Pottery – Fr. Donagh O Shea
Art-Veronica O Rourk
Questions & Answers-Lino Rulli
Love & Relationships-Patrick Reynolds
Environmental Ethics-Fr. Sean Mc Donagh
2:00 Talk-‘Jesus is our fuel’-Fr. Benny Mc Hale
8:30 Contemporary dance by Elaine Griffin
10:30 Chill out café
Morning Prayer & Breakfast
Workshops-Choice of the same workshops
Panel Session-Journeying together
Lunch (BBQ Style!)
In case you’re tempted to comment on spellings etc, in fairness this event is probably run by volunteers who are more concerned with getting the message out there and the right people to come rather than the grammatical accuracy of a small festival website.
Those interested in attending must be aged 18 to 35. Tickets are €70 including food and accommodation and you can book online.
I genuinely hope everyone who goes has a good time and finds something of what they’re looking for.