THE selfie craze has reached Lourdes as young Limerick pilgrims take photos with bishops.
Diarmuid Bucke, 22, took a picture with both the Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy and Bishop Dónal Murray during the annual Limerick Diocese pilgrimage to Lourdes.
The Patrickswell man said that he was not nervous asking the Bishop to take the picture and that he had been very approachable all week.
“He is a really normal person, he is a Bishop but we’ve gotten to know him this week and you could talk away to him,” said Mr Bucke.
Mr Bucke, who is a co-ordinator of the youth volunteer’s pilgrimage, said that the Bishop spent a lot of time with the young people during the trip.
“I cannot get over the amount of time he spent with us during the week,” he added.
This was Mr Bucke’s third pilgrimage to Lourdes and he said that “from the day we get home I am looking forward to going back again”.
“At the start of the week you’re nervous, you’re meeting new people, by the end of it the young people are fighting over which patients they bring.”
Fr Chris O’Donnell who is a member of the leadership team that organises the youth pilgrimage said that the young people’s role in the pilgrimage is to assist the patients.
There is a team of voluntary professionals to assist patients’ medical needs and the youth volunteers bring them to venues, entertain them and interact with them on a personal level.
Fr O’Donnell added that this greatly benefits both the patients and the youth.
“It helps them on so many levels. They make friends, it might help them on a faith front, youngsters struggle with stuff too, so it is a very wholesome good place for them,” he added.
Fr O’Donnell said that they have a number of initiatives in place for making religion more accessible to young people and social media must play a part.
“Equally, it is not everything, we need real relationships and real friends,” he added.
The Limerick Diocese Youth service produce an online magazine called Yolo (Youth of Limerick online).
In the lastest edition of Yolo the youth volunteers from Lourdes shared their thoughts on the experience .
“It was a very peaceful, relaxing experience for me. I didn’t consider it work and it honestly gave me a broader outlook on life,” one youth volunteer said.
See this weekend’s Limerick Leader, print editions, for full coverage and pictures of the Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes