Carlow village to host over 40 pilgrims for Pope's visit

Pilgrims due to arrive from Russia, Belarus and Poland beginning August 20

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

news@carlowlive.ie

Carlow Carlow Carlow

A whistle stop tour of Carlow is also planned for the visitors

When the call was put out for parishes to host pilgrims from around the world visiting Ireland for World Meeting of Families, Rathvilly Kiltegan Parish heard it loud and clear.

The parish had decided to do whatever it could to get involved and when volunteer, Bríd Saruwatari suggested that Rathvilly become host to a nation it was welcomed with open arms.

The idea was that the area would play host to pilgrims from one other country and literally play host to a nation.

This would involve local people in the area opening their homes to provide a bed and breakfast for visitors travelling to attend the World Meeting of Families Congress in Dublin for the week which will end in a mass celebrated by Pope Francis in the Phoenix Park on August 26.

A few weeks later and due to the generous and warm response from the people of Rathvilly Kiltegan Parish the final figures were tallied and the realisation was that the parish could open its doors to up to 40 people.

This information was fed to the World Meeting of Families office in Dublin and recently the news has broken that rather than one nation, Rathvilly will welcome three.

Pilgrims are due to arrive from Russia, Belarus and Poland beginning Monday August 20 and will travel each day to attend the events in the RDS, Croke Park and the Phoenix Park.

This is an exciting venture fort the whole parish and even dioses as outside the greater Dublin area Rathvilly will be the largest host area in Ireland.

It is planned that all the community and local organisations will play a part in the week of festivities which will begin with an opening prayer followed by street entertainment provided by local musicians on Monday August 20 kicking off at 7pm in St Patricks Church.

A whistle stop tour of Carlow is also planned for the visitors and many other events which will be announce shortly.