St Gerard’s Novena starts next Tuesday 8 October and continues for nine days at St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church Dundalk until the feast of St Gerard on 16 October.
The annual solemn novena in honour of St Gerard Majella is a great festival of faith and this year even more people are expected to attend the daily sessions as difficult times bring people together, and Pope Francis tries to move the Catholic Church from “a small chapel for the few” to a “a field hospitla after battle”, a place of healing for the faithful, the doubtful, and the conflicted.
“This has been a very difficult year for so many people,” said Novena Director Fr Michael Cusack CSsR, “and more that ever before we need to know that we are not alone.”
“The election of Pope Francis earlier this year has brought a fresh wind of change into our church and our world.
“Our new Pope has brought a new vision of concern and care and an approach to life that is profoundly personal and reassuring.
“Please God this new wind will inspire more and more people to rediscover and find faith. We need our faith to help us on the journey of life, to guide us, to inspire us and to comfort us.
“The theme for this year’s novena is ‘Stand firm in the Faith’. The daily preaching themes reflect the journey of faith that we all have in our lives.”
“The most important message that the novena should bring is hope and consolation.
“This novena is always a time of great solidarity and really ignites the community spirit in the people of Dundalk and the surrounding counties, towns and villages.
“Our doors are open to all and all will be welcome. The novena is only possible because of the hard work and effort of so many dedicated women and men,” Fr Cusack said.
There will be 10 daily sessions on the weekdays: 7.00am, 9.30, 11.30, 1.10pm, 2.30, 4.30, 6.00, 7.30, 9.00 and 10.30.
The Sunday novena times are: 7.00am, 8.00, 9.30, 11.00, 12.30pm, 4.30, 6.00, 7.30 and 9.00.
The Healing Mass with the Anointing of the Sick and Aged will be on Saturday 12 October at 11.30am and 2.30pm. Guest speakers Bobby-Leigh Herdman and Christopher Smith will talk about the Redemptorist Missionary Vocation.
Blessing of Babies and Children 2.30pm on Sunday 13 October. The novena is also celebrated at 10.00am and 7.30pm in the Church of the Redeemer Ard Easmuinn. Sunday times there are 10.00am, 11.30 and 6.00pm.