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.
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 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."
Archbishop Neary expresses his disappointment. "I'm not aware that it has ever been cancelled before and I have been climbing this mountain since I was a young lad many, many years ago."
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.