The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin “broke bread” with the homeless in a unique lunch as part of the celebrations leading up to the Eucharistic Congress this afternoon.
Pews in one of Dublin’s best known churches, Westland Row, were set aside for the afternoon as up to 400 people – people who use Crosscare and people who work with them shared a meal and were entertained by the Dublin Gospel Choir, among others.
Crosscare has for over 70 years been working with people all over Dublin who are on the margins of society – they provide care and support to the most vulnerable people in the city through their food and housing programmes.
The Agape lunch saw the Archbishop and Crosscare workers sit down to eat with the people who they normally serve through their homeless and food services. Crosscare runs breakfast clubs, hot food services, a food bank, migrant support and homeless accommodation for people in need all over Dublin.
Crosscare Director Conor Hickey said this lunch was being hosted in a spirit of love, gratitude and humility in service. “This is about us serving the people we work with and saying thanks to them for allowing us to work and to travel with them on their journey in life. It’s also an opportunity for Archbishop Martin and myself to say thank you to Crosscare staff who work with such energy and enthusiasm, with and on behalf of the most vulnerable people in need in Dublin.”
Westland Row Church which celebrated its 180th Anniversary just over a month ago resembled a restaurant for the afternoon, thanks to the efforts of Crosscare and volunteers from the Dublin Diocesan preparatory committee for the Eucharistic Congress. The diners enjoyed a three course meal– as well as the Gospel Choir there were dance performances from the members of Crosscare’s disability awareness programme.
Speaking at the lunch Archbishop Martin said there was a tremendous atmosphere in the Church, and that he wanted to share the spirit of the Congress with people who may not attend, or who may not even have heard of it. “This meal and the work carried out by Crosscare each day with those most in need in this city brings into sharp focus the theme of the Congress – in Communion with Christ and with one another. Crosscare’s services to people in need are made possible with the support of the community of believers like those to be found in this parish,” he said.