(Dundalk, Ireland) 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 looks 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 Chruch 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.
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 to 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.
Fr. Noel Kehoe C.Ss.R., Rector of St. Joseph’s Monastery
St. Gerard Majella’s Novena – the beginnings and the present day
- Novenas have always been part of our mission here in Dundalk since we came in 1876
- When St Gerard was beatified in 1893, a three-day mission was preached in Dundalk, and devotion to Blessed Gerard grew significantly around Dundalk.
- In the 1930s, Fr. John Murray introduced the nine-day Solemn Novena 8 – 16 October. So, the annual Novena has been part of Dundalk’s life for nearly 90 years. It really began to grow however in its current format in the 1970s.
- The webcam streaming service can be accessed via churchservices.tv/dundalk or www.redemptoristsdundalk.ie/live-webcam
- Novena sessions online: 7.00am, 10.00am, 7.30pm, 9.00pm