By Cian Molloy - 15 June, 2019
The annual Novena in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Limerick is so well-attended that it has been nicknamed the “Munster final of religion”.
The event kicked off yesterday, Friday, at the Church of Mount St Alphonsus.
Running until 22nd June at the Redemptorist Church on Limerick’s South Circular Road, thousands of people from north Munster and beyond are due to attend the event, with many more across the globe, joining in online via the website. You can submit your prayer intentions and light virtual candles at the website.
The Redemptorists are using old-fashioned media to promote the event, with a major gable-end poster on display on the South Circular Road.
During each of the nine days of the Novena there will be 10 celebrations of the Mass at the Redemptorist Church with the first at 7am every morning and the last at 10.30pm.
The programme features opportunities for confession and counselling, special celebrations for the sick and the elderly, a blessing of babies and young children and a liturgy designed specifically for First Communion primary school classes.
The Redemptorist rector, Fr Seamus Enright, describes the Novena as “a festival of faith, a community at prayer”.
“I’m a bit of a magpie when it comes to describing the Novena. A man described it as ‘the Munster final of religion’. A lady told me it was like spiritual spa. She felt refreshed, reenergised after attending every day for nine days. People constantly tell me their faith is nourished at the Novena, that they find spiritual energy there.”
Every day prayer intentions are read from the altar so that all present can pray communally for a specific purpose. “During the Novena, we are not just praying for ourselves, but for the entire community,” Fr Enright said.
Mass Times during the Novena are as follows: 7am, 8am, 10am, 11.30am, 1.10pm, 4.30pm, 6pm, 7.30pm, 9pm and 10.30pm. The blessing of babies and young children takes place tomorrow, 16th June, at 4.30pm, and the liturgy for the sick and the infirm is on the last day of the Novena, 22nd June at 11.30am.