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From Pope dolls to a stained glass Popemobile - some 20,000 people enjoy first day of World Meeting of Families

 

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A Pope doll on sale during the World Meeting of families in the RDS.
Photo: Tony Gavin

A Pope doll on sale during the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

Pope Francis is due to arrive in Dublin on Saturday Picture: Tim Rooke/PA Wire

Pope Francis is due to arrive in Dublin on Saturday Picture: Tim Rooke/PA Wire

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay receives the offertory gifts at mass in the Family Arena during the World Meeting of families in the RDS.
Photo: Tony Gavin

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay receives the offertory gifts at mass in the Family Arena during the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

Closed order Carmelite nuns Sr Bernadette and Sr Teresa at the World Meeting of families in the RDS.
Photo: Tony Gavin

Closed order Carmelite nuns Sr Bernadette and Sr Teresa at the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

Oliver Brady from Trim with his pope doll during the World Meeting of families in the RDS.
Photo: Tony Gavin

Oliver Brady from Trim with his pope doll during the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

Aileen Wiley with her ecclesiastical supplies at the World Meeting of families in the RDS.
Photo: Tony Gavin

Aileen Wiley with her ecclesiastical supplies at the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin arrives with the cardinals at mass in the Family Arena during the World Meeting of families in the RDS.
Photo: Tony Gavin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin arrives with the cardinals at mass in the Family Arena during the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

Archbishop Eamon Martin gives his keynote address in the Family Arena during the World Meeting of families in the RDS.
Photo: Tony Gavin

Archbishop Eamon Martin gives his keynote address in the Family Arena during the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

An Italian family, Corrado Malandrino and Chiara Spatola with their children Marco, 3, and Luca, 8 at the World Meeting of families in the RDS.
Photo: Tony Gavin

An Italian family, Corrado Malandrino and Chiara Spatola with their children Marco, 3, and Luca, 8 at the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin arrives at a press conference during the World Meeting of families in the RDS.
Photo: Tony Gavin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin arrives at a press conference during the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

Pope will lead mass in park. Photo: Getty Images

Pope will lead mass in park. Photo: Getty Images

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A Pope doll on sale during the World Meeting of families in the RDS. Photo: Tony Gavin

It's not exactly fit for ploughing down a boreen on a stormy day but the special edition Skoda with the stained glass windows would certainly turn heads in traffic.

Not exactly compatible with road safety guidelines, the project is a nod to the car manufacturer’s windows - sponsorship of the Popemobile.

“I was tempted to drive it down the M50,” quipped fourth generation stained glass artist, Evan Connan – whose grandfather worked with the famous Harry Clarke studios.

The last fully trained traditional stained-glass designer in Ireland and based in Crumlin, Evan spent 200 hours on the project, using 1,700 individual pieces of glass using Harry Clarke studios techniques.

“There’s talk of it going to the Ploughing Championships,” he said.

On the opening day of the World Meeting of Families, some 20,000 people from all over the globe flocked to the RDS for a wide-ranging gathering.

There were workshops on matters of ethics and theology.

Couples spoke openly on stage about their hopes for their marriage amid the trials of busy day to day life.

There was an open air mass at the Leinster grounds.

And then there was the quirky retail experience.

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On the extreme end of the scale was the stall selling rubber pro-life foetuses.

There were stalls selling Pope Francis mugs and lollipops.

Veritas has already sold out of the €18.50 portable cardboard chairs suitable for toting to the Phoenix Park.

And there were numerous  stalls for religious orders, seeking new vocations.

Special edition jovial-faced pope dolls, at €35 a pop, were being eyed up as souvenirs and having soft fabric bodies, some parents were even buying them for young children.

“We have a lot of lookers,” said Oliver Brady from Trim, Co Meath.

At Desmond Wisley’s Ecclesiastical Supplies, everything from tasteful pottery holy water vessels to velvet ropes, communion wafers and limited edition Pope Francis in Ireland crystal vases was on display.

Normally an online shop for parishes, this was a ‘networking’ exercise, explained Desmond.

“It’s nice to meet my customers face to face because they usually see me getting out of a van,” he said.

Picking out a bottle of communion wine out of his display, Desmond explained that they differ from regular wines in that they are sweeter. They also happen to be 15pc proof.

At the open air mass was Sr Anne Cahalen from Dublin, who had a late vocation and will shortly take her final vows in her 50s.

Before joining the French contemplative order of Adoration and Reparation on the Falls Road in Belfast, she was a secretary for most of her working life and worked with the homeless.

 “I feel more fulfilled and happy in my vocation,” she said simply.

 


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