Bishop Brennan leads the opening prayers
A large crowd attended the opening of the traditional 24-day pilgrimage season to our Lady's Island on Friday with Mass led by Bishop Denis Brennan.
Local Parish Priest of popular shrine and beauty spot, Fr.Brendan Nolan, said the numbers of pilgrims was marginally higher this year with more than 2,000 people attending the opening Mass and procession.
Bishop Denis Brennan, who was the main concelebrant of the opening Mass, thanked everyone on the island for their remarkable work and gave them great encouragement because the atmosphere was very uplifting, he said.
Mass was followed by a procession of the Most Blessed Sacrament around the island and prayers were led by the Pilgrimage Choir who interspersed their singing with Mysteries of the Rosary and short readings of the Scripture.
'Before Benediction a rough timber cross was placed in front of the assembly and people were asked to leave their troubles there, before going on to pray for hope and light,' he said.
According to Fr Brendan the evening Mass was provided with a 'very lively liturgy' led by Fr James Cullen of Clonard parish and the Wexford Branch of the (HCPT) Handicapped Children's Pilgrims Trust.
Each day of the pilgrimage will see two Masses on the island, at 3 p.m. and at 8 p.m., with various parishes and groups taking the lead.