Westport parish mission commences on Monday

The Parish Mission begins this Monday October 7 and continues until Thursday October 10. As well as the Mission Mass which takes place at 7:30pm each evening there are a number of other events taking place during the four days. The mission is the last event taking place in the parish to mark the Year Of Faith which concludes in November.

This year also marks the bi-centenary of the laying of the foundation stone of the first church on the current site at St Mary’s. To mark this the Archbishop will bless a new plaque at the front of the church after the Mass on Monday evening. The plaque will serve to mark the occasion, but will also indicate to visitors the name and rite of the church. Visitors regularly express confusion regarding the name and rite of the church, so hopefully the new plaque will make the church more identifiable to visitors.

There are four key speakers on each night of the mission, each speaking on the topic ‘Why I believe’. It is hoped by the parish faith formation group who organised the mission, that the diversity of backrounds of the speakers will have something to offer to as many people as possible. Each speaker has been invited to speak of his/her own personal faith journey, for example on Tuesday night Trish O’Brien will speak from the perspective of a parent who has lost a child.

Prayer guidance sessions will take place during the mission at the times mentioned on the programme. Prayer guidance takes place in a group setting and is led by a trained prayer guide. It invariably takes the form of a guided meditation through a particular scripture passage. The prayer guidance sessions take place at specific times and details are on the schedule.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the Church’s way of allowing the burden of our sinful actions to be lifted. When entered into properly it is very powerful and liberating, both sacramentally and psychologically. All of us in the course of our daily lives encounter sin through pain and hurt. Very often keeping this locked inside us adds to the burden. In this sacrament of God’s forgiveness we are set free from the burden, and given a chance to start again. It is human for the struggle to continue, but with God’s grace we are called to keep struggling on and renewing ourselves continually. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered each evening at 6:45pm with a Reconciliation Service on Wednesday at 6:30pm.

Sacrament of the Sick

Many of us are burdened by illness, infirmity, or emotional weights of many kinds. For many people these weights are unbearable. In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church prays that the person being anointed is helped by the grace of the Holy Spirit. We pray that through the sacrament the person being anointed be lifted up from what burdens him/her and prays also that the promise of their Baptism, that they be raised to the Father, may be fulfilled. This is a Sacrament of the Church and not a simple blessing and should only be availed of by those who feel themselves genuinely burdened. It is usually availed of only by those who have already received the Sacrament of Confirmation. The anointing takes place during the Mass on Tuesday evening only.

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