Evangelium 2023 Attracts Record Crowd
Evangelium Ireland’s annual apologetics conference took place in Dublin on Saturday, March 25th, and attracted a record attendance of Catholic young adults from across Ireland.
The Evangelium Project exists to provide young people with a deeper knowledge of their Faith, and to help them to communicate it to those around them.
Since Evangelium was launched in Ireland in 2014, the Project has gone from strength to strength, with 90 attendees participating in the annual conference in 2019, a figure which increased sharply to 130 in 2022.
A new record was achieved this year, with 150 people in attendance at the all day conference in DCU All Hallows.
Organisers said that Evangelium 2023 was made even more special by the participation of the co-founder Fr. Marcus Holden, who helped to set up the Project in the UK in 2008.
Visiting from his parish in the London region, Fr. Holden delivered a keynote talk titled ‘Unlocking the Seven Doors to Evangelisation,’ while also leading a workshop on ‘The Art of Faith: Beauty & Truth in the Transmission of Faith.’
Talks were also provided by the well-known convert priest Fr. Andrew Black (whose lecture was titled ‘The Annunciation in the Gospel of St. Luke’) and Fr. Francis Gavin (who drew upon his own experiences in the Birmingham Oratory and the Dublin Oratory-in-Formation in providing an illuminating lecture on ‘St. John Henry Newman’s Spiritual Journey to Catholicism’).
Evangelium Ireland’s work is made possible by the support of many donors including Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Ireland, who generously sponsored this year’s workshop on ‘The Persecuted Church’ which was delivered by the writer James Bradshaw.
After another year of impressive growth in attendance and engagement, Evangelium Ireland’s Chairperson Ellen O’Shea said that the organisation is already looking forward to next year, while actively seeking volunteers to join the Committee.
“The Evangelium Project which Fr. Marcus Holden co-founded 15 years ago has gone from strength to strength, and I know the Evangelium UK team are busy preparing for a major event of their own in August.
Evangelium Ireland’s Catholic Apologetics Conference for young adults took place in the DCU All
Hallows Campus in Dublin on March 26th. A record attendance of over 130 saw the event surpass all previous conferences since the Evangelium Project was first launched in Ireland in 2014.
Organisers said that the sharp increase in attendance numbers of over 40% compared to the
the previous conference showed how important such events are for young Catholics across all parts of
The Spiritual Director of Evangelium Ireland, Fr. Damien Lynch, said he hoped that the conference’s
success would help to foster a vibrant young Irish Catholic community nationwide while aiding
efforts to rebuild and reignite the Faith.
“Evangelium Ireland has been an important resource for Catholic young adults for almost a decade
now, and the growth in the numbers coming to conferences is a sure sign that more and more
people are learning about the crucial role it has been playing and will continue to play in the coming
“This year, we were able to put together a fantastic line-up of expert speakers, and their talks and
workshops not only helped to illuminate key aspects of the Catholic Faith, but also helped our large
audience to think more deeply about what it means to be Catholic. It was also wonderful to be able
to celebrate Mass in the beautiful chapel in All Hallows,” Fr. Lynch said.
Speakers at the full-day conference included Fr. Conor McDonough, O.P.; ‘The Brendan Option’
podcast host, Fr. Brendan Kilcoyne; Sr. Rose Miriam Collins of the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia in
Limerick; the Director of Sacred Music at St. Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry Maghnus Monaghan and Fr.
Gavan Jennings of the Opus Dei prelature.
After brief hiatus due to the World Meeting of families, the Evangelium conference was relaunched this year. On Saturday July 13th over 80 young Catholics from across the island of Ireland gathered in All Hallows DCU for the Evangelium conference. This large group of eager and enthusiastic young Catholics were not disappointed with the conference. They were treated to excellent and engaging talks by Prof Andrew Meszaros on Sacred Scripture, Dom Hildebrand of the Benedictine Monks in Sliverstream Priory spoke on the Eucharist and Fr Eamon McCarthy from Radio Maria explored the subject of Sin. There was also the opportunity for workshops on authentic masculinity and femininity led by the Dominican sisters from Limerick and Senior Counsel Ben O’ Floinn. Holy Mass was concelebrated in the historic old college chapel with the choir providing a beautiful array of hymns and Gregorian chant. The day concluded with an apologetics panel much added to by Fr Sean Corkery, which raised some very relevant and interesting topics for discussion. A social was held afterwards with discussion continuing long in to the night.
Fr Damien spiritual director of Evangelium had this to say about the day. “This year’s conference was a great success. The enthusiasm of the 80 young participants from all corners of the island, a record number for the conference, was truly uplifting. It indicated for me that not only is there a hunger among young people for ‘more’ but that this hunger can only be satiated by the fullness of the Catholic faith in its beauty and in the challenges it presents. The speakers, the topics treated, the reverent celebration of Holy Mass, with its beautiful music and time spent in one anothers company all converged to make it a wonderfully Catholic occasion and one that I look forward to experiencing again next year.” We would like to take this chance to thank all our speakers, all who attended and of course our donors especially our faithful Bishops, please remember our work in your prayers.