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  • Southside

Pope Francis makes a triumphant return

Monday, 27th August, 2018 1:00pm
Pope Francis makes a triumphant return

And today: His Holiness Pope Francis I greets the faithful in Rome ahead of his arrival in Ireland.

Pope Francis makes a triumphant return

And today: His Holiness Pope Francis I greets the faithful in Rome ahead of his arrival in Ireland.

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AHEAD of his triumphant arrival in Ireland last weekend, Pope Francis was welcomed on what was his second visit to Dublin by the Southside school where he studied English for a number of weeks in 1980.

Last week, Marketing English in Ireland (MEI), the association that represents 66 regulated English language schools and colleges in Ireland, issued a warm welcome to a “famous past pupil”.

During his time in Dublin, Father Jorge Bergoglio, as he was known, stayed in the Jesuit Centre in the Milltown Institute.

While there he was taught by a young teacher called Declan Millar who is now a board member of Marketing English in Ireland (MEI). 

According to David O’Grady, CEO of Marketing English in Ireland (MEI): “It is great to see a famous past pupil return to our shores, because it helps promote Ireland as a destination for international English language students.

“Last year 973 English language students came to Ireland from Argentina which is a growing market for us, however Pope Francis is the most famous pupil we have had to date from South America.”

At present Pope Francis is just one of a very many current international leaders who studied English in Ireland.

Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel and Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz all came to Ireland to study English at various stages during their education.

“We look forward to seeing them visit our shores in the near future also,” Mr O’Grady added.

In 2017, MEI schools and colleges in Ireland welcomed over 129,000 students from 118 individual countries, the majority of whom (74 per cent) were from the European Union / EEA area.

Pope Francis released a video message ahead of his visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, saying he hoped the festival will bring "renewed encouragement to families everywhere".In the video, Pope Francis said he was "excited" about his return to Ireland.

He said: "I hope that this festival will be a source of renewed encouragement to families everywhere, especially those families that will be present in Dublin.

"May it remind us all of the essential place of the family in the life of society and in the building of a better future for today’s young people.”

The World Meeting of Families officially opened at the RDS in Dublin, ahead of the pope's visit on Saturday and Sunday.

The Archbishop of Dublin welcomed the thousands of international visitors “to celebrate and foster family life”.

In his homily Diarmuid Martin said: “The family is not a remote ideological notion but the place where compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience and forgiveness are learned.”

The Pope when he was a younger man.

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