Thousands flock to the Cathedral for annual Novena

One of the youngest attendees at this week's Novena at Galway Cathedral. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The inclement weather didn’t dissuade the faithful from flocking once again to Galway Cathedral as thousands turned out this week for this year’s Solemn Novena.

By the end of the nine days, up to 10,000 people are expected to have attended one of the six daily sessions, reflecting on this year’s theme – the joy of love and family life.

There are over 300 volunteers and a twelve-strong team of Redemptorists taking part in this 38th year of the Solemn Novena.

Preachers include Fr Tony Rice from Belfast, Fr Denis Luddy from Cork, Fr Gerry O’Connor from Limerick and environmental scientist Neil Foley from Wexford.

Mr Foley recently worked on the Hook of Faith digital evangelisation project, which looks to proclaim the Gospel to a wider audience using digital media.

A new addition to the Novena has been the nightly candlelight mass with Taizé hymns at each 9pm session.

The Director of this year’s Novena – and Rector of the Esker Redemptorist Community – Fr Brendan O’Rourke explained how the themes of contemporary family life and the joy of love are being examined.

“We all know that no family is perfect and each family has its joys and struggles.  Each day of the Novena takes different aspects of everyday family life, and gives a message of consolation, hope and challenge,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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