St Patrick the Pilgrim by Ken Thompson, 2002
The statue is located close to the mainland pier of the ferries to Station Island, Lough Derg, where St Patrick's Purgatory is.
Thanks to English blogger Fr Ray Blake for drawing the Novena for the Church in Ireland to my attention. He in turn found the novena at Protect the Pope. Just now I have discovered that it originated on Facebook. The Church in Ireland, meaning all its members, needs prayers very badly. May I invite you to join in this novena which ends on the Solemnity of the Assumption, known in Irish Gaelic as Lá Fhéile Mhuire Mhóir, the Great Feast Day of Mary.
The photo above was taken at the point where pilgrims take a boat on Lough Derg to go to St Patrick's Purgatory. I must confess that I've never been there. A priest who spent some summers working there was Fr Ragheed Ganni (20 January 1972 - 3 June 2007), the Iraqi priest who was murdered along with three subdeacons just after celebrating Mass on Pentecost Sunday. Father Ragheed, of the Chaldean Rite of the Catholic Church and an engineer by profession, studied in Rome before and after his ordination and stayed at the Irish College there where he acquired the nickname 'Paddy the Iraqi'. I believe he is a martyr and I'm sure that he is praying for repentance and renewal in the Irish Church as well as for peace and justice in his homeland..
Novena for the Church in Ireland (Sunday 7th August – Monday 15th of August)
There are three intentions:
1) We pray in atonement for the sins of the Church in Ireland and for all those who were hurt.
2) We pray for all of our priests and bishops,the guilty that they might find God’s mercy and the innocent that God might support them in this difficult time.
3) We pray for the healing and renewal of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
If everyone who wants to join in could pray the rosary on each day (or even just a decade of the rosary) for these intentions and if you can;the Pope’s prayer for the Church in Ireland,which is below,and finally just offer up your Mass on the feast of the Assumption for these intentions.
Prayer for the Church in Ireland
God of our fathers,
renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation,
the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal,
the charity which purifies and opens our hearts
to love you,and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.
Lord Jesus Christ,
may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment
to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness, holiness and generous service to society.
Holy Spirit,comforter,advocate and guide,
inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal
for the Church in Ireland.
May our sorrow and our tears,
our sincere effort to redress past wrongs,
and our firm purpose of amendment
bear an abundant harvest of grace
for the deepening of the faith
in our families, parishes,schools and communities,
for the spiritual progress of Irish society,
and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace
within the whole human family.
To you, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.
Protect the Pope comment: Here’s an extract from Pope Benedict’s moving Letter to the Faithful of Ireland about the need for reparation for the sin of abuse before the Blessed Sacrament:
‘Particular attention should also be given to Eucharistic adoration,and in every diocese there should be churches or chapels specifically devoted to this purpose. I ask parishes,seminaries,religious houses and monasteries to organize periods of Eucharistic adoration,so that all have an opportunity to take part.
Through intense prayer before the real presence of the Lord,you can make reparation for the sins of abuse that have done so much harm,at the same time imploring the grace of renewed strength and a deeper sense of mission on the part of all bishops, priests,religious and lay faithful.’