Saturday, May 19, 2007

Immigrants re-energise Irish Church

~from BBC News

On a Sunday evening at St Augustine's Catholic Church in Cork city centre there is standing room only - and it is a cavernous building.

The choir has been practising for the last hour. Melodic, loud, sincere religious songs ring out.

At the back of the church there is a long queue, snaking up one of the side aisles. A little red light above a confessional door indicates that forgiveness is on offer.

The young, mostly male Polish worshippers wait their turn, patiently. Filing in one by one to confess their sins and take their penance, young men and women are breathing new life into one of Ireland's oldest traditional institutions, the Catholic Church.

Father Pat Moran is the Pryor at St Augustine's and has been a priest for more than 37 years. He is excited by the new interest in the Church.

"This is a new period of growth, the Poles here are totally responsible for this. It is infectious and re-energising for me too."

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