“Finding the key to happiness” is the theme of this year’s Solemn Novena which begins on Monday at Galway Cathedral.
The nine-day event, which is presented by the Redemptorists, has been running for 27 years.
Its new director, Monaghan-born priest Michael Cusack, has strong Galway connections. His mother is fromWilliamstown and most of his family now live in the west. He is the Director of Vocations for the Redemptorists in Ireland and moved to St Patrick’s Monastery in Esker, Athenry in October 2008.
He relishes the challenge which the famous novena presents. Widely experienced in this area, he has been involved with many novenas over the years in Galway and throughout the country.
“The theme of this year’s novena is ‘A Life Worth Living….finding the key to Happiness’. Our hope is that the novena will offer an opportunity to people to examine the reality of their lives and find a positive context for dealing with the issues which we all face in Irish society today,” he says.
“As ever the novena petitions will tell of the reality of people’s lives and the anxieties, worries and stresses which so many face in 2009. It is also true to say that the thanksgivings allow people to be ever more grateful for the many blessings that we receive in our daily lives.”
A team of 12 Redemptorist missioners is involved in the novena and there are six sessions daily at 7.45am, 11am, 1.10pm, 3.30pm, 6.30pm and 8.30pm. A special event this year will be the Novena of all Nations which takes place on Sunday February 15 at 4.30pm.
“This event is an effort to recognise and celebrate the cultural diversity of our city and will count on the participation of many different ethnic groups and nationalities.”
Fr Cusack says the most important message of the novena is that everyone is welcome.
“Be assured that you will be received with kindness and sincerity by all the team.”