"It appears to be the most popular Camino route in Ireland – we are getting people travelling from England and the United States to complete it," says Joe Maguire
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.
“We were welcomed by families whose focus is now day-to-day survival and whose aspirations have been reduced to bare essentials such as electricity and clean water.”
Collection on papal visit of 1979 serves as a testament to the warmth, compassion and esteem Saint Pope John Paul II is held in by the Irish people, says Pamela McLaughlin, Veritas marketing manager.
“People are talking more about the blessing of this place and the help and the comfort and the compassion of God that it offers.”
Parishioners were dismayed and disgusted this week when they learned that someone had spray-painted swastika symbols on the cross and nearby oratory.
“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.”
“It is our duty and a privilege to stand in solidarity with Christians in Palestine and Israel as we seek to understand the pressures that force that decline in population.”
The Church in Ireland must work towards becoming “more authentically the Church of Jesus Christ in a culture that is different”.
The Corpus Christi Procession is essentially a missionary movement as it winds its way along public streets and public pathways before ending for Benediction, according to Bishop Nulty.
“We wanted to modernise the interior but also ensure preservation of all the beautiful historic features. People won’t see a drastic change but we hope that they will be very happy with the new look” - Fr Richard Gibbons.
“The pilgrimage will be a witness to hope and will enable us to forge even greater friendships and work yet harder for peace together in the future.”
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”.
The pilgrimage to the Shrine of St James the Great in Northern Spain has been popular since medieval times, but in recent years interest in it has grown substantially.
“Suicide touches everybody regardless of whether you have faith or not. It is no respecter of age, gender, background, class or religious denomination,” said Fr Deery.
From a historical point of view it is the route that Irish pilgrims would have taken from the 1200s to the 1500s. The Mayor of Waterford walked the Camino twice in 1483 and 1493 and his tomb has the Camino shell sculptured into it.
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.
“The notion of embracing the challenges of Lough Derg would appear to be nonsense. But it is glorious nonsense – it is the most wonderful witness to the most profound spiritual values.”
Keith Wheeler has been travelling around the world with his cross for over thirty years as a pilgrim of peace with a message of reconciliation and love.
All kinds of people, of all ages and all backgrounds, turn up to pray before the relics, seeking St Oliver’s intercession for whatever their own private intentions may be.
Between 27 to 29 April, Bishops Donal McKeown and Ken Good will undertake a 30-mile walk together to promote reconciliation and highlight their shared Christian heritage.