Fr Noel Kehoe of St Joseph's Redemptorist Chruch where the St Gerard's Novena will take place online again this year
The popular annual St Gerard's Novena will take place online again this year to ensure large crowds don't gather as the country begins to open up.
The Annual Solemn Novena to St Gerard Majella has, for over 90 years, been a highlight for the faith community in Dundalk and many surrounding counties. Each year it attracts up to 10,000 people and is truly a celebration of hope, new life and solace.
Together with the people, the Redemptorist community look forward to these nine days of prayer and mutual faith.
Fr Noel Kehoe said: "Athough we have come a long way in confronting the challenge of Coronavirus, once again, our Novena will be celebrated online only.
"As the country begins to open up and embrace a new normality, we hoped that we could find some way of hosting the Annual Novena with people present, even with significantly reduced numbers.
"However, with ongoing risk assessments, the community feel that it would not be possible to host a popular event like a Novena that would inevitably attract many people."
In this “Year of St Joseph” the theme of this year’s Novena will explore various aspects of his life, including the role of fathers, healthy masculinity, the call to integrity and justice, homeless, care of the vulnerable and the challenges of family life.
"So we invite you as we celebrate this important saint as a “man for all seasons", Fr Kehoe continued.
The Novena will be live streamed each day at 7.00am and a candlelight session at 9.00pm. The morning session will be rebroadcast on their streaming service at 11.00am, 1.10pm, 4.30pm, and 6.00pm 7.30pm and 9.00pm. Recording of sessions can be accessed at any time on our website or churchservices.tv/Dundalk.
The Redemptorist Church will remain open each day for private prayer, to write petitions and to purchase candles that will be burnt outside during the nine days. Petitions can also be sent by email or through our website, and the monastery shop is now stocking novena packs and Novena Mass cards.
As the Novena is completely online, the public celebration of the Eucharist will take place, with the usual restriction of numbers, at 8.30am and 9.30am (Monday to Saturday), and 9.30am, 11.00am and 12.30pm (Sunday).
These Masses will not be Novena sessions, but are to facilitate those who attend daily mass. They strongly discourage people to travel for these masses, as with restricted numbers, priority will be given to local parishioners and those celebrating anniversary masses.
The church renovation fund continues to receive donations to help us repair our church tower and restoration project, Fr Kehoe said. Donations can be made at the church or reception using the donation envelope, or online via or website. During the Novena, their Monster Raffle to win a car as well as many other prizes will be launched. Tickets will be also be available at the church, reception or can be purchased online. Tickets cost €50.00.
Fr Kehoe said: "During these challenging times, we invite you to join us online in solidarity and prayer.
"In life, St Gerard Majella had a gift of making himself present to people in time of great need, especially to children and mothers in need.
"His powerful intercession continues bring comfort and blessing in our need as we celebrate the gift of life. Following his example, we turn to God with open hearts and trust as we pray for the world at this time."
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