Young Catholics drawn from across the diocese of Waterford and Lismore are expected to attend a four-day festival in Knock which organisers have described as ‘Oxegen’-like.

The festival, which will begin at the Marian Shrine on July 24th, is titled ‘Living Life to the Full?’ and will feature discussion, prayer workshops, processions, ceremonies and music aplenty.

The Diocese will provide a bus free of charge for all young people who wish to attend the festival at the Mayo Shrine. 

According to Ann Lee, Director of Knock’s Youth Ministry, those she described as “the future of the church will come together for a powerful experience and return home to pass the torch of faith among their peers”.

Ms Lee outlined the reasons for the holding of this festival and the selection of its theme.

“Young people in Ireland desperately need to tune out of the crazy ‘noise’ of modern life, which constantly surrounds them and distracts their attention from what is really important,” she said.

“Our lives can be so swamped with the noise and pace of modern life. It’s difficult to find time and space to tune out of our iPods, mobile phones, computer or whatever, and just tune into ourselves.

“This festival is about helping people get back in touch with what is really important in life. Are they happy or are their lives full to the point of bursting but really just empty at the heart of it?”

First held in 2002, the festival has grown in successive years, but this the first time that Knock’s Youth Ministry in Knock has organised it independently.

“We are providing a programme that enables young people to realise their desires and needs and to facilitate a powerful encounter with Christ in that place,” added Ann Lee.

“We want to empower and direct the young people to return home in groups and to become active in passing on the torch of faith among their peers.”

The festival’s Waterford contact is Mrs Kathleen O’Hagan and she can be reached on either 051-855131 or 087- 2398845.