By Sean Ryan - 27 May, 2017
A unique festival of faith is taking place in Limerick city this weekend, with the Dominican Sisters hosting the first festival of its kind in honour of Our Lady of Limerick.
The four Dominican Sisters who have come to Limerick from America are running the holy Triduum, which includes three days of prayer, devotion and family fun at St Saviour’s Dominican Church in Glentworth Street in the city.
The festival includes 1 pm Mass and devotions, with various events following across the three days, as well as activities for parents and children outside the church.
The festival is named after the ‘Our Lady of Limerick’ statue which resides in St Saviour’s Church and which was a gift from the famous Irish Jacobite soldier Patrick Sarsfield and his wife Eleanor White to the Dominicans in the 17th century.
He donated the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, which received its Limerick name later in reparation for the crime of his uncle. Years earlier, Patrick’s uncle Sir Dominic Sarsfield sentenced Sir John Burke of Brittas, Captain of Clanwilliam, to death, during a time when Catholics were being persecuted.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader about the festival, Sr Mara Grace said: “When we arrived, we were so amazed to have Our Lady of Limerick in our own church, and this will be a great way to celebrate her.” A pastoral council spokesperson is also quoted speaking to the newspaper about the work the Dominican Sisters have done for Limerick since their arrival.
She said that “Since the Sisters have arrived, the church and parish have been ‘reinvigorated’.” She added that “In keeping the Church open, not only have they breathed new life into the parish but these bright young ladies have brought so many people back to this fantastic old church. There have been more christenings and bookings for weddings in the past nine months than in the preceding three years cumulatively.”
The festival of faith commenced on 25 May and concludes today, Saturday 27 May. The final day of the Triduum will see a special closing Mass and procession at 1 pm with Fr John Harris OP. The family festival will commence at 2 pm with a ‘Party on the Plaza’ in front of the church. The surrounding streets will be closed to traffic for safety, and there will be lots of activities and games for the young and young at heart, including food stalls, live music and face painting (all supervised).