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Mother of Good Counsel novena begins Monday

By Sarah Mac Donald - 20 April, 2014

OLGCTomorrow, Easter Monday, sees the annual nine-day Novena to Our Lady, Mother of Good Counsel begin in St Augustine’s church in Cork.

The novena, which is particularly associated with members of the Augustinian order, seeks the intercession of Our Lady, who filled with divine counsel, offers help to her helpless children.

This year, the novena runs from 21 to 30 April and though the feast day falls on 26 April, it is not being celebrated until 30 April due to Easter being so late this year.

Fr Tom Sexton OSA is the co-ordinator of the novena in Cork.

He told CatholicIreland.net that the novena is structured so that there are three sessions a day, during Mass at 11am, 4pm and 8pm.

Fr John Hughes, an Augustinian based in Galway, will preach on the opening days while Fr Colm O’Mahony OSA, who is based in Drogheda but a native of Cork, will preach on the last few days.

Fr Sexton will lead the novena prayers. He said anyone with a special intention can email petitions to [email protected] or text it to 087 7821313.

The petitions are incorporated into the novena. “We place them in front of the altar. Some of them we will announce in the course of the prayers – we wouldn’t be able to announce all of them. But they will all be placed before the altar during the sessions of the novena.”

Every day the novena session will be streamed live on CSTV – see http://www.churchservices.tv/augustinians

In past years, the online broadcast of the novena meant that people from as far away as Australia, the US and Canada were able to participate via the internet. “We hope to continue that,” Fr Sexton said.  

The Cork-born priest, who has been an Augustinian since 1958, spent more than 30 years in Africa, ten years in Nigeria and 22 years in Kenya.

Now back in his native city since 2012, he works as the bursar for the Cork community as well as organising the weekly novena every Friday and this annual novena.  

Asked why someone who hasn’t been to the novena before should come along this week, Fr Sexton told CatholicIreland.net, “Good counsel means good advice and we all need good advice in the world of today. That is why calling on Mary’s intercession under this title is very appropriate.”

For more information: www.staugustinescork.ie

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