The sun shone brightly over a large congregation at Our Lady's Island last week as pilgrimage season got under way at the oldest Marian Shrine in the country.
Pilgrims from right across the county and even further afield united in faith as the 2019 pilgrimage officially opened on Thursday afternoon with a particular focus on young people and integrating them into the faith. Young speakers impressed the congregation before Mass was celebrated, followed by a procession of the blessed sacrament.
With this, a busy season began with a 'Focus on Healing' blessing of the sick taking place on Sunday with music from renowned singing priest and Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist, Fr Ray Kelly. Tomorrow (Wednesday) will see a 'Focus on Angels' taking place at 8 p.m. with renowned author and speaker Francesca Browne.
One of the country's most popular clergymen, Fr Brian Darcy arrives in Our Lady's Island this Sunday, August 25, for a 'Focus on Faith' with Mass starting at 3 p.m.
This will be followed by a Divine Mercy and pro-life event on Wednesday, August 28; a 'Focus on Recovery from Addiction' on Sunday, September 1, with author and speaker Patrick Bentley; a 'Focus on Ecumenism' at 8 p.m. on September 3 with Rev Ruth Patterson from Belfast; a 'Time to Heal' service on Wednesday September 4 at 8 p.m. and concluding with Mass and a torchlight procession with Bishop Denis Brennan on the Birthday of Our Lady on Sunday, September 8 at 7 p.m.
Daily Mass will be celebrated during pilgrimage season at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and healing blessings with the sacred oils will be handed out after 3 p.m. Mass. Before Mass on Fridays at 7.45 p.m. there will be a short talk on the history of Lady's Island. For more details, call 053 9131023. Parish Priest Fr Jim Cogley, now overseeing his fourth pilgrimage season, was delighted things got off to such a great start and is looking forward to a busy few weeks.