22 June 2008

Thousands of Atlanta Catholics Gather in Celebration

Last Edited: Saturday, 21 Jun 2008, 10:49 PM EDT
Created: Saturday, 21 Jun 2008, 10:49 PM EDT

ATLANTA (MyFox Atlanta) – Metro Atlanta Catholics celebrated a spiritual recharge Saturday after the Atlanta Archdiocese's annual Eucharistic Congress.

Atlanta Catholics were also rejoicing over their numbers while dealing with changing times.

Church leaders said this weekend's events meant good news as they pointed to huge turnouts, which keep getting bigger and more diverse.

Two days of enthusiastic celebration weren't enough to overwhelm Catholics like Terry Fontaine of McDonough.

"Seeing the body of Christ come in and people realizing what it all means, it's just amazing," Fontaine said.

Leaders of the Archdiocese of Atlanta were also rejoicing over the numbers. They reported that over 30,000 people attended the 13th annual Eucharistic Congress, a sign of a following that has become robust in Georgia, but one that is also changing.

"Other dioceses in the North, they are shrinking. The numbers are less now, but we are growing," said Monsignor Luis Zaramaia, Vicar General Archdiocese of Atlanta.

A series of talks and meetings were set up for the metro area's growing population of Spanish and Vietnamese speakers and was very conscious of the concentration of young people.

"I really felt a connection there, even though I am a teen," said Anna Fontaine.

The celebration will continue Sunday after the congress wraps and the Catholic New Media celebration will focus on the role new media is playing in faith.

"There's hundreds of blogs. There's hundreds of Catholic podcasts and there's this huge community," said Greg Willits of Starquest Production Network.

Catholic leaders said they are getting a big boost from the area's large immigrant population and from Catholics who have simply relocated from other states into Georgia.

This story content provided by FOX 5 Atlanta WAGA

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