PARISH communities across the country will be joined by thousands of individual pilgrims at Knock shrine today for the National Eucharistic Congress, writes Brian McDonald.
The congress is being held to mark the one-year countdown to the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, to be held in Dublin in June 2012.
Huge crowds are expected to attend a series of special events, including workshops, celebrations and prayer, throughout today in preparation for next year's massive event.
Representatives of the 26 Irish dioceses will be joined in Knock by the four archbishops -- Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Archbishop Dermot Clifford of Cashel and Emly, and Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam.
Those attending will also have an opportunity to hear from Professor Robert Enright, a world expert in the study of forgiveness. Prof Enright has been described by 'Time' magazine as "the forgiveness trailblazer".
He has been working with schools in Belfast since 2002, helping to set up forgiveness education programmes.