Dundalk couple to meet Pope
Dundalk couple Katie Bailey and Joseph Woods, who got engaged last October, have been invited to meet Pope Francis during his visit to Dublin for the World Meeting of Families next month.
They will be among recently engaged and married couples who will have an audience with the Pope in Dublin's Pro Cathedral on the afternoon of August 5th, before His Holiness attends the World Festival of Families in Croke Park.
'I am really looking forward to it,' says Katie, adding that she had been planning to get tickets for the Papal visit before Fr Mark O'Hagan, Adm St Patrick's asked her if she and her fiancé would be interested in travelling as part of sixteen couples representing the Archdiocese of Armagh.
'I was planning on getting tickets for the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park when Fr Mark asked if we would be interested in going so I was over the moon,' says Katie.
Katie, who is a social care worker at St John of Gods, Drumcar, and fire fighter Joseph are both actively involved in St Patrick's Parish.
'I went to the World Youth Day twice, when it was held in Madrid and Rio de Janeiro,' says twenty-six year old Katie. 'The Pope was at both events to meet the young people but there are thousands and thousands there so you couldn't get anyway close to him.'
Katie has also worked as a volunteer in Lourdes and travelled to Calcutta, India, with a group of young people led by Fr Mark when she was just seventeen.
She is also a minister of the Eucharist and a liturgical reader in St Patrick's and helps out in the soup kitchen with Joseph.
Katie was presented with the Pope John Paul 11 award and the Papal Cross Gold award in recognition of her commitment to faith and community.
The couple got engaged last October and are planning to get married next summer.