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RTÉ to broadcast some of this year’s St Gerard’s Novena

RTÉ to broadcast some of this year’s St Gerard’s Novena
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This year’s St Gerard’s Novena will be broadcast by RTÉ.

This year’s event will be taking place online with crowds unable to attend St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church as normal.

In a statement, Rector of St Joseph’s, Fr Noel Kehoe, revealed that this year RTÉ and Dundalk FM would help spread the message of hope in a time of crisis.

He said: “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 each year to these nine days of prayer mutual faith.

“Given the current pandemic, it is not possible for us to host such a large faith event that would attract such numbers. However, this great tradition continues through the use of our digital media platforms. Using our webcam and social media platforms, we are able to bring this year’s Novena online to be streamed to your homes. The first session will be streamed at 7am and further sessions will continue throughout the day at 10.00am, 11.30am, 1.10pm, 4.00pm, 7.30pm and 9.00pm. The 9.00pm session will be in candlelight.

“We are also delighted to announce that RTE News in collaboration with Church Services will broadcast the Novena on both television and the RTE News App at 10.30am on Friday 9th, Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th, and Friday 16th and on Sunday 11th at 2.15pm.  Again, this year, we are also grateful to Dundalk FM for broadcasting the Novena on weekdays at 5.00pm, Saturday at 1.00pm at 9.00am on Sunday and to LMFM for their coverage. Please see our website and facebook page for further information. 

“The theme of this year’s Novena will be ‘Hope in a time of Crisis’ which is very apt given the current situation. Preachers will reflect on Hope for the church, society our world in a time of crisis, and this year we are delighted to welcome Allen O’Donaghue of CA Coaching who will speak to us about parenting in a time of crisis, something that this so important for all families. Unfortunately, the is no safe way to conduct a reconcilation day or anointing of the sick, but we will have an exciting session on Sunday at 3.00pm for the blessing of families and children. We would ask families to arrive in their cars and park in the carparks for 3pm. As short celebration will be held that people can follow on their phones and the priests of the community will then bless each family as they leave. It is important that people remain in their cars for safety purposes.

“As our Novena is online, our parish duties continue. 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 and are to facilitate those who attend daily mass. This will be strictly monitored and we ask people from outside the parish not to attend these masses. The 7.30pm weekday mass and the Saturday night Vigil at 6.30pm are suspended during the Novena.

“People are welcome, however, to come to the church open each day from 10.00am to 6.00pm 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. The monastery shop and reception continues to operate during normal business hours, Monday to Saturday 9.00am – 1.00pm, 1.30pm – 5.30pm and Sunday 9.00am – 2.00pm, for booking masses and the purchase of candles, religious goods and gifts.

“Although this will be a very different event, 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. 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.”