Carol Kennedy attended the Festival of Families in Croke Park and then travelled to Knock on Sunday to hear Pope Francis. Photo: Tiernan Dolan
Humans of Longford spoke to local woman Carol Kennedy as she was about to embark the bus for Croke Park on Saturday morning toattend the Festival of Families event.
“I'm just about to board the bus and I'm going to Croke Park to see Pope Francis,” she told Humans of Longford Facebook Page curator Tiernan Dolan.
It was a big day for Carol as she wasn’t even born when Pope John Paul visited these shores in 1979 but was subsequently named after him.
“I wasn't around the last time a Pope visited Ireland; I was actually called after the last Pope...well, the name he had prior to taking the name John Paul II - his name was Karol Wojtyla - so I was called Carol,” she added, before pointing out that she held Pope Francis in very high esteem.
“I think Pope Francis is fantastic and it's great to have him visit Ireland this weekend.
We were all watching his arrival earlier this morning on television and there was great excitement in our house; every time my five-year-old saw Pope Francis, he called him Fr Healy!”
Meanwhile, Carol and her family also travelled to Knock on Sunday where Pope Francis celebrated Mass and met with a number of people.
“I'm taking the whole family to Knock; I've four children under seven and they're really looking forward to it,” smiled Carol.
“This Papal visit is a chance to celebrate our faith; there has been so much negativity of late that this is a positive moment for the church.”
Meanwhile, she pointed to the deep faith and rich spiritual community that prevails in Co Longford.
“In Longford we've a wonderful church community; there's great participation from the community and we've great leadership locally,” Carol continued.
“When older people talk of the last Papal visit they just seem to light up when talking about John Paul II and I just hope that this Papal visit goes down as a positive experience for our country, and creates the same great memories.”