Colum Kenny: A warm faith makes us all stronger
The flame of religious belief will still flicker even if the institution that once housed it now seems unfit for purpose, says Colum Kenny
This Christmas Eve, some of us will do what Irish families have done for generations. Light a candle at the window and go out in the dark to attend Mass. It is Christmas, and old traditions still have a place in our hearts.
Many Irish who were reared as Catholics feel that their church somehow left them, and not that they themselves abandoned their faith. Fewer than one in seven now attend Mass weekly in the Dublin Archdiocese. But people who stop going to church do not necessarily turn their backs on Christ.
There will be a surge of attendance at Masses this weekend. A growing number of people cross the thresholds of churches only at Christmas and at Easter, or when someone is being baptised, married or mourned.