Hundreds flock to view icon
In excess of 800 people flocked to the Church of Sts Mary and Peter in Arklow in recent days to view the religious Icon of the Holy Family.
The icon was on display over a three-day period last week and a number of parish events were organised in celebration.
Morning Mass last Tuesday was led by Spanish priest Enrique Fernandez while an ecumenical service was attended by local groups, elected representatives and different Christian churches who came together in prayer and song.
Piper John Earle brought great occasion and reverence to the welcome and opening of the Icon during the service which saw a gathering of Catholic, Protestants, Presbyterians and Methodists.
Later in the week, parishioners and parish priests from Aughrim, Castletown, Johnstown, Templerainey, Roundwood, Rathfarnham, Oldbawn and other parishes around south Wicklow enjoyed Fr John Hayes' explanation of how the image of the icon can be relevant in our everyday lives.
An well-attended evening of meditation and music by Cruinniú was a highlight of the week.
Wednesday saw a special service take place with the anointing of the sick and on Thursday, the Icon visited Shelton Abbey where the prisoners and officers were invited to pray.
At the end of the visit, the Icon was handed over to Kilquade and Greystones Pastoral Area with a specially designed commemoration plate with the image of Our Lady Star of the Sea by local potter and craftsman Tim Harden.
Throughout the week, there was plenty of musical performances from young people, the parish male voice choir who sang the WMOF Hymn with trumpeter and John Bonner as organist, a piper and young traditional Irish musicians.
Arklow Parish wishes to thank all those that supported the visitation of the Icon.
Approximately 200 parishioners will attend closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Phoenix Park with the Pope.