Galway Solemn Novena to focus on mercy as a language of the heart

The annual Galway Solemn Novena, which makes a welcome return on Monday February 13 and runs until Tuesday February 21 at Galway Cathedral, will focus on Mary, Icon of God’s mercy.

Each day at the Novena, the speakers will speak strongly to people for whom the Church may not have meant much, and for whom the Church may not have seemed to be welcoming.

Looking ahead to this year’s Novena, Fr Brendan O’Rourke, Novena Director talks through some of the main talking points around what mercy means.

“Mercy is the language God speaks. What we need in our relationships, families, country is a language of the heart. It is a language of gestures and action, of showing, rather than saying, how deeply you care, how much you want things to be better, how much you wish the pain would go away. Jesus invites us “to become fluent speakers of the language of mercy,” he said.

“If we are followers of Jesus we believe in giving people second chances, third chances, and one hundred chances. Living that dream means doing something for people whose lives are wrecked by addiction, and for children living in homes torn by anger and abuse.

“Wherever the language of mercy is spoken. Wherever hungry people are fed, where people who have nowhere else to go are sheltered, where the lonely are befriended, where the broken- hearted are comforted, that is where we will find God,” added Fr O’Rourke.

The Galway Solemn Novena will run from Monday February 13 until Tuesday February 21 at Galway Cathedral. Week day mass times are at 7:45am, 11am, 1:10pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm, 9pm and Mass will be said at 9am, 10:30am, 12:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm and 8pm on Sunday. Children will be blessed at all sessions on Sunday February 19. There will be Mass and anointing of the sick on Saturday Feb 18 at 11am.

Candle Light meditation sessions will take place at 10pm on Wednesday February 15 and Monday February 20 and last about an hour.

“The Galway Solemn Novena is a celebration of prayer and faith. Some of the highlights for people of Novena is when the voices of people are heard directly. People get to tell the community gathered of their joys and struggles, and we listen and support and pray for one another. Also people love the hymns and music element throughout.

“With 62 hymns on the playlist that are beautifully performed by Galway Cathedral Ooganist and cantors, there is also soft and reflective music at each candle light meditation sessions. The music lends to a very relaxing and quiet time within one where we can really find that peace and tranquillity in lives that are rushed and fast paced,” concluded Fr O’Rourke.

For more information log onto or check out Galway Cathedral across all social media platforms.


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