Those who lost their lives since the pandemic began, the bereaved, those who are ill and frontline workers will be the focus of those remembered in the first ever ‘Virtual Pilgrimage to Lourdes’ by Archdiocese of Dublin.
Over the six days of Clogher’s virtual pilgrimage a dedicated website was accessed nearly 12,000 times and attracted participants from places as diverse as Australia, the USA, Kuwait and Trinidad & Tobago.
The bishop said he was unclear whether parishes can actually have the baptism before the party. He went on to explain that he is not sure whether the legal restrictions have changed or if further clarification is forthcoming.
The theme of this year’s novena is ‘Mary as friend, sister and mother’ and the devotional observance is being directed by Meath diocesan priest Fr Shane Crombie.
New diocesan youth coordinator in Derry, Lizzie Rea, believes her mission is “to try and get young people back into the Church by helping them to see its good points and its value.”
"The people of the diocese have been very generous over these years in supporting Share even at moments of serious economic difficulties. I thank you for that generosity and I encourage you to continue in the support given to Share," says Archbishop Martin
“It’s safe to say that that was a pretty emotional thing that we’ve just done. It’s something I’ll never forget,” says TV vicar after Lourdes immersion.
"Our prayer is that in this holy place you will experience something of that spirit of the Beatitudes and realise how you have a special place in the heart of Jesus,” Archbishop Martin tells pilgrims to Lourdes.
Among the tens of thousands of Irish who have visited the shrine are President John F Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Brendan Behan and Seamus Heaney.
The witnesses “were ordinary people who lived in a very ordinary little village” and included “men, women and children ranging in age from four-year-old John Curry (who spoke no Irish) to Bridget Trench in her seventies (who spoke no English).”
Team of four is aiming to raise €30,000 for Pieta House, which works with those suffering from depression or anxiety, and Down Syndrome Ireland, which is fundraising for a new regional centre in the west of Ireland.
Last year 772,000 passengers used Knock Airport and this year is forecast to be another year of growth at the facility, founded by Msgr James Horan.
Priest thanked Emma for the hope she expressed: “that people are good and have a capacity to learn from mistakes and that what happened to you should not happen to any other woman in our land.”
“It is a time of blessing and grace for our entire diocese.”
The Church in Ireland must work towards becoming “more authentically the Church of Jesus Christ in a culture that is different”.
Every aspect of the pilgrimage is prayer-filled, said spiritual director, Fr John Gilligan
We invoke the healing power of Jesus on the sick among us, remembering in our prayers all those who suffer sickness or anguish or addiction or pain or isolation and loneliness.
Archbishop Neary pays tribute to young people’s “very significant contribution” to the local church, from teaching computers to the elderly to caring for people with special needs on pilgrimage to Lourdes.
19 new seminarians have begun their formation for Irish dioceses, eight of whom have begun a propaedeutic year in locations in Ireland and abroad.
"So many anonymous men and women religious brought dedication and innovation in health care and society owes them a debt of gratitude.”
“In Lourdes, the sick and weak have pride of place and become central in our interaction,” says leader of Dublin diocesan pilgrimage, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
“I had a bad leg, a very difficult early childhood ... So when I go [to Lourdes] I think, aren’t I a lucky boy that I can walk and come here and help people more incapacitated than I was, and I thank God for that.”
We can all participate in the work of salvation by accepting a share of the yoke of suffering on our shoulders, and by uniting our sacrifices and sufferings with those of Christ.
“We need help – money is the biggest obstacle to giving Dylan a chance of life. I don’t want to have to say goodbye to my little boy.”
The large influx of pilgrims, the humble and simple prayer of God’s people, the fulfilment of so many graces and the natural beauty of these places allow you to see how the shrines express an irreplaceable opportunity for evangelisation.
Aidan Chester has been a member of the company’s senior management team since 2009 and has extensive retail, distribution and marketing experience.
"In Lourdes we learn that happiness can well be found in those who have little to offer in worldly terms.”
“In previous generations, there was a tendency to assume that everyone believed the same thing... it was sometimes more about conformism than about a personal relationship with God."
In contrast to the “holiness, solitude and peacefulness” of the French Marian shrine, daily lives are typically drenched with stories and images from social media, newspapers, magazines, television and films.
“In keeping with the message of St Pope John Paul II, these young people are answering the call of Jesus to be the hope for the future.”