The parents of murdered UK schoolboy, Jimmy Mizen, are to speak at Knock Shrine later this month about their inspirational campaign to spread a message of compassion and hope. Barry and Margaret Mizen lost their son Jimmy, one day after his 16th birthday, when he was violently attacked by another teenager in a bakery in south London in 2008.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Mizens set up a charity in their son’s honour, called the Jimmy Mizen Foundation, to promote peace and forgiveness and raise awareness among young people, parents, and teachers about the consequences of violent crime. Barry and Margaret, who spoke in front of Pope Benedict XVI during the 2010 Papal visit to the UK, are speaking in Ireland for the first time at the National Eucharistic Congress at Knock Shrine.
Thousands of Catholics from across Ireland are expected to travel to the National Eucharistic Congress at Knock Shrine on September 26 and 27 to participate in more than 40 talks, workshops, ceremonies, prayer, music, and reflection. The congress will explore a range of pastoral topics, under the theme of ‘Christ Our Hope’, with a particular emphasis on family and consecrated life.There is also a dedicated two-day youth programme. The congress will also provide spiritual preparation ahead of the International Eucharistic Congress next January in Cebu in the Philippines.
The Bishop of Elphin, Bishop Kevin Doran, is leading an Irish delegation to the international congress in Cebu next year and said the National Eucharistic Congress will build on Ireland’s hugely successful hosting of the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 2012. “The International Eucharistic Congress, celebrated in 2012, was not just an event, it was part of a journey,” said Bishop Doran. “Our National Eucharistic Congress continues that journey, partly by harvesting more of the fruits of IEC 2012 and partly by helping people, whether they can travel or not, to join in the spiritual preparation for the next International Congress next January in Cebu, Philippines.”
Fr Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector at Knock Shrine, urged parishes across the country to join in the event and send delegates to the National Eucharistic Congress. “This will be a wonderful festival of faith,” he said. “I would encourage as many people as possible to attend.”Other speakers at the National Eucharistic Congress at Knock include the Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, and the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles J Brown. For more information and the full programme of events, visit www.knockshrine.ie or www.nec2015.ie