"The chapel on the mountain top has been closed all summer and the toilets on the mountainside are not being maintained," says the administrator of Westport Parish, Fr Charlie McDonnell.
Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam stated that the National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday is an important annual occasion for many people, and has a long and distinguished history. The Archdiocese of Tuam and the Parish of Westport took the decision to cancel in order to support the public authorities, and everyone’s efforts to suppress COVID–19
Bishop Fintan Monahan has welcomed plans to restore Croagh Patrick’s pilgrim pathway to protect it against further erosion and ensure climbers are safe as they approach the summit.
“No matter what your troubles, no matter what mistakes you have made or sinful things you have done, you are His son or daughter. You are part of the family. You belong.”
"Croagh Patrick is a physically demanding mountain. Pilgrims should bring with them a set of warm, waterproof clothing, water and a walking stick or staff,” advises the Tuam Archdiocese.
They have one special prayer intention – the referendum on the Eighth Amendment. “Many people, of all faiths and none, strongly support the protection of life from the moment of conception to natural death,” said John Carlin, one of the organisers.
Speakers will include Camino guidebook author John Brierley, who will be focusing on how the Camino can be “a path of awakening, an inner-journey of self-discovery”.
Special focus on the family in preparation for World Meeting of Families 2018 as pilgrims invited to wear a special sticker as a symbol of bringing families with them in prayer as they made their ascent to the summit.
The phrase ‘Rest in Peace’ goes back to the very earliest days of the Church – with the words ‘dormit in pace’ found on Christian tombs from the 4th century.
The lessons we learn on this mountain need to be rooted in our everyday routine: great and unselfish teamwork when the person who finds the going tough is granted a helping hand; when the one who stumbles and falls is set on their feet again; when the climber who is confused is welcomed back.
"We literally follow the paths traced by our ancestors, women and men of faith, who kept that faith despite the opposition they faced, despite poverty and discrimination and emigration and famine."
Up to 25,000 expected to take part in the first Reek Sunday climb in two years following the cancellation of last year’s event due to bad weather.
Retired Westport parish priest, Fr Tony King, has called for the annual Reek Sunday climb to be suspended for three years in order to conserve the sacred mountain.