The picturesque village of Holycross will be a hive of activity over the next two weeks or so with the annual Solemn Novena in Honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help kicking off on Thursday morning next, September 8th in historic Holycross Abbey.
The nine day festival of faith continues until Friday September 16th and will see thousands of visitors from far and near descending upon the village for the daily sessions which will see preachers coming from all over Ireland to discuss the chosen themes.
Devotions and Mass will take place at 7:00am, 10:30am, 4:30pm, 7:30pm and 9:30pm on weekdays, with Sunday devotions taking place at 7:00am, 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 7:30pm and 9:30pm. There will be an Anointing of the Sick ceremony on Saturday September 10th at 2:00pm and a Special Mass for Young People will take place on Saturday 10th at 7:30pm. Blessing of Infants will be held on Sunday 11th at 2:30pm.
Confessions will be heard before, during and after eah session of the Novena, except on Sunday.
Rev Fr Tom Breen PP, along with Rev Fr Celsus Tierney and Rev Fr Michael Mullaney have been busy preparing for the Novena which sees huge number of visitors coming to the Abbey each year. They, together with their teams of helpers, are all set to bring the faith to the people and they are encouraging people to come along, bring a neighbour or friend and participate fully in the goings on.
The Novena is always a special time for the village of Holycross and the arms of welcome will be extended to all visitors, especially those who have been coming there for many years. There will be car parking facilities available throughout and stewards and attendants will be on hand to ensure the safe access and egress of vehicles. These people form just a small part of the huge team effort which goes into overseeing the Novena. There will be teams of caterers, stewards, attendants, cantors, musicians, readers, Eucharistic Ministers, Order of Malta, Gardai, clergy, Sacristans, shop attendants and many more on call throughout the nine days to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly will be in attendance for a number of the sessions of the Novena which is regarded as one of the most popular in the land.
While the Church is going through a difficult period in it’s history in Ireland at the present time, there is still very considerable support for the clergy who have continued to work despite the huge public backlash. However, it has been quite noticable in recent times too that people are returning to the faith with the severe economic difficulties and the downbeat atmosphere, encouraging people to seek something more in a spiritual sense.
Perhaps the annual Holycross Novena is your chance to find that something extra. Come along and check it out.