|June 19, 2012 to June 27, 2012|
The 2012 Solemn Novena to the Mother of Perpetual Help begins in ESKER, BALLINASLOE, and ATHENRY on TUESDAY JUNE 19th, and continues until WEDNESDAY JUNE 27th.
(Please note that it begins on 19th, not on 18th as has been on this website by mistake, for some time. Apologies for this un-noticed error)
Times of Novena Sessions:
Weekdays: 8am, 10am, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, 10pm.
Sunday: 8am, 10am, 12 noon, 4.30pm, 6pm, 8pm.
Special Sessions, in Esker:
Anointing of the Sick & Elderly: Saturday 23rd, 12 noon.
Blessing of Babies and Small Children,- Sunday 24th at all sessions.
Weekdays, except Sat.: 7.30am, 10am, 8pm.
Saturday 7.30, 10am, 7pm.
Sunday: 9am, 11am, 12.15pm.
Every year in the month of June, Redemptorists gather inBelfast, Esker, Athenry, Ballinalsoe and Limerick to celebrate the solemn novena (nine days of prayer) in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. It is the major occasion for us in our proclamation of God’s Word in Ireland. The solemn novena takes places in the presence of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which has a long and colourful history. Each year the novena has a particular scripture-based theme which is then developed in nine homilies over the days of the novena. The theme this year is “Lord, that I may see!” In exploring this theme we will proclaim Jesus’ vision and values as the only way forward for all of us, who have been so deceptively blindsided by the false economic and material values of recent years. We will look at how some of the less attractive aspects of so-called Celtic Tiger economics have affected us as Jesus’ disciples as well as focusing on his own sense of God’s kingdom and how we can make it a reality in our lives.
Every year in February, Redemptorists, in partnership with the clergy and people of the Diocese of Galway, organize and preach the Galway Solemn Novena in the city’sCathedral Parish. It is without doubt the largest faith-event in the city and in the west of Ireland. Similarly, every May, we preach the Solemn Novena in Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Parish, Foxrock, Dublin 18. View Matt Kavanagh’s (Irish Times) photos of the 2009 Galway Novena. Just click on the movie icon.
The story of how the Novena came to Ireland is fascinating. In 1866 Pope Pius IX commissioned the Redemptorists to make Mary known under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. In 1916 the American Redemptorists celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of that event by establishing a perpetual novena, that is a weekly celebration of the novena. Eventually a young Redemptorist by the name of Matthew Meighan CSsR became the novena director. Then in 1942 the attack on Pearl Harbour happened and the USA entered World War II. Matthew Meighan joined the US marines as a chaplain and quickly found himself posted to Northern Ireland in 1943. When visiting Clonard Monastery in Belfast he urged the Redemptorists to establish a perpetual novena and on Thursday, 09thDecember 1943 the novena began. It flourished in Belfast and quickly spread to other Redemptorist centres, especially Mount Saint Alphonsus in Limerick. In the late 1970s a team of Redemptorists based in Mount Saint Alphonsus, led by Vincent Kavanagh CSsR developed the novena even further, giving it the particular festive atmosphere and popularity it enjoys today.