Tuesday 21 November 2017

Anne-Marie Whelan (39) is the deputy venue manager for the IEC2012 Congress, which extends into other churches. She lives in Clonsilla, Co Dublin

"I WAS involved in the recording of the Congress hymn, playing the flute. I'm in college in All Hallows in Drumcondra and the IEC offices were based in Clonliffe College next door. I started helping out in the office, and then signed up as a volunteer in Dublin and in other dioceses promoting the Congress.

"I've been helping in the office one day a week since January, helping generate sponsorship. I'll be deputy venue manager for the Congress, which extends into other churches throughout the city.

"The job involves co-ordinating the events in the 34 churches outside the RDS. They will host events varying from different language masses, to a week-long programme of activities for families.

"At the moment I'm doing exams in a degree in theology and psychology. It fits in with what I'm doing in college, because I would hope to do pastoral work after I finish. The work in Congress is helping because I'm meeting like minded people. In doing this, it's putting my faith into action, giving me an opportunity to do something.

"There's so much work going on behind the scenes, the theme of the Congress is Communion in Christ and with one another.

"I think it's been more than I expected. I worked in the financial sector before I was made redundant. My skills from my working days and my interest and love in the pastoral area are coming together. My hope for the week would be to enjoy it. Someone told us in the early days that volunteers are too busy to enjoy it -- I'm hoping that won't happen to us!

Irish Independent Supplement

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