By Cian Molloy - 29 January, 2017
The triduum takes place at Faughart, the birthplace of St Brigid, which lies three kilometres north of Dundalk, and it starts tomorrow, Monday 30 January at 7.30 pm, with Mass celebrated by Fr Paul Montague, administrator at Holy Redeemer parish, Dundalk.
On Tuesday, also at 7.30 pm, the celebrant will be Fr Vito Nardin, Superior General of the Rosminian order, who is travelling from Italy to be at the event. The reason that the head of the Institute of Charity (the Rosminian order) has been invited to lead the celebrations is that the Rosminians provide St Brigid’s Parish, Faughart, with its priests. Fr Tom Griffin IC is parish priest and Fr Vinod Thennattil Kurian IC is curate.
On St Brigid’s Day, Wednesday 1 February, celebrations in Faughart start at 10.30 am with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Eamonn Walsh (Auxiliary Bishop in Dublin). From 11.30 am to 12.30 pm, priests will be available to hear confessions, and from 11.30 am to 5.30 pm, the faithful can avail of individual blessings with a relic of St Brigid. At 8 pm there will be a candlelit procession from Faughart Graveyard to St Brigid’s Shrine.
“St Brigid’s Day will be a very busy day for us,” said Fr Kurian, who has been serving in the parish for the last five years. “The church will be crowded and the shrine will be very busy.”
If you prefer a more relaxed day, you can join a pilgrimage in Dublin that starts at 10 am at the Bridewell Garda Station in Smithfield and then travels to Brigid’s Well in Clondalkin, via the Anna Livia Park on the North Quays, through the Phoenix Park, the Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge, and then along the Grand Canal Way to Clondalkin village.
The pilgrimage is expected to take four hours and participants are asked to make a donation of €10, to wear warm layers on the day and to have good walking shoes or boots. They should also have a waterproof coat, water and a packed lunch, plus snacks.
If you do intend taking part in this event, please email [email protected]. Once the walk starts, there will be no way to contact the organisers, but if you do miss the departure you may be able to gauge where you might meet up with the pilgrims along the route.
Seperately, if you would like to introduce a young person to the inspirational story of the female Abbot of Kildare, you may be interested in an illustrated book, The Story of St Brigid, by author Caitriona Clarke and artist Barbara Croatto. Between now and the end of February, Veritas are offering the book for sale at 10% off at any of their bookstores or online at www.veritas.ie.
Certainly, Brigid must be one of heaven’s busiest saints. As well as being a patron saint of Ireland, she is also a patron saint of babies, blacksmiths, boatmen, cattle, dairy workers, fugitives, mariners and sailors, midwives, poets, poultry farmers, printing presses, and scholars.