Thousands of people are expected to flock to the city next week for the annual Solemn Novena which will run from Feb 10 to Feb 18.
Since 1982 large crowds have been attending this event in the Galway Cathedral. The Director of the Novena, Redemptorist Father Brendan O’Rourke commented that for him the highlight of each session is listening to the voice of God’s people expressed in the petitions and thanksgivings which are read at each of the 54 sessions which will be held on weekdays at 7.45, 11.00, 1.10pm, 3.30pm, 7.30pm, 9.30pm and on Sundays: 9.00am, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm, 8.15pm.
Fr O’Rourke said that these petitions and thanksgivings capture so concretely, and so movingly, the joys and sorrows, the desperation and love, the sicknesses and celebration of new life in our community.
“There is often a lot of hardship and struggle spoken of in the petitions, and in the thanksgivings we hear amazing evidence of healing, reconciliation, and new life breaking through. A time of consolation, a time of pulling together as one family, a time to weep with those who suffer, a time to rejoice with those who are joyful,” he said.
“The Galway Cathedral Novena is one big celebration of God’s love. We celebrate with Mary, our mother and sister in faith. The Novena involves lots of hard work by the priests and staff of the Cathedral together with many, many volunteers. They have been preparing for the past months and have succeeded, through meeting with the Galway City Council, in acquiring more parking spaces this year,” he concluded.
The preachers at the Novena are Michael Cusack, C.Ss.R., Michael Kelleher, C.Ss.R., and Adrian Egan, C.Ss.R.
Mass with Anointing of the Sick will be held on Saturday, February 15 at 11am; Sacrament of Reconciliation on Thursday February 13 ;
There will be four sessions of reconciliation: 7.45am, 1.10am, 7.30pm and 9.30pm
At 11.00am and 3.30pm there will be Mass, with confessions before and after.
Blessing of Babies and Children will be held after all sessions on Sunday, February 16.
There will be a candle-lit prayer before Blessed Sacrament Wednesday (Feb 12 ) and Monday (Feb. 17 ) at 10.30pm