For more than a century, the people of Dundalk, and all of Louth, Armagh, Monaghan, Cavan, Down, and beyond, have attended the nine-day annual novena in honour of St Gerard, a spiritual celebration by an entire community.
There is a festive atmosphere at this religious event that has no equal anywhere.
The novena starts next Wednesday 8 October at St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church, Alphonsus Road Dundalk and the Church of the Holy Redeemer and runs until 16 October.
Pope Francis has called for a Church that is ‘on the streets’. He challenges people to live their Christian lives wherever they are. So the overall theme of this year’s novena is “The Church on the Streets, Living the Gospel Today”.
The programme is: Weekday times: 7.am, 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.10pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.00pm, 7.30pm, 9.00pm and 10.30pm. Sunday times: 7.am, 8.am, 9.30am, 11.00am, 12.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.00pm, 7.30pm and 9.00pm.
The ceremony of the anointing of the sick and elderly will be on Saturday 11 October.
The great celebration of the blessing of babies and children on Sunday 12 October at 2.30pm.
This year’s guest speaker is Michele Ryan from the Dundalk Simon Community. He will speak on “Serving the Homeless” on Monday 13 October.
On Tuesday 14th the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation will take place at the 9.30am, 11am, 4.30pm, 6pm and 7.30pm.
The preachers in the Redemptorist Church this year are: Fr Adrian Egan, rector of Mount Saint Alphonsus Community Limerick. Fr Laurence Gallagher, a member of the national Redemptorist Mission team based at St Joseph’s, Dundalk. Fr Dan Baragry, who is part of the St |Joseph’s parish team and works with the Redemptorist students. Fr Ben Hughes, diocese of Clogher and a member of the chaplaincy team University College Galway.
The Holy Redeemer Church preachers are all members of the St Joseph’s Community: Eamon Hoey, Peter Burns and Tony Rice.