(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. Together with the people, the Redemptorist community look forward to these nine days of prayer and mutual faith, 8th—16th October 2021.
Although we have come a long way in confronting the challenge of Coronavirus, once again, our Novena will be celebrated online only. As the country begins to open up and embrace a new normality, we hoped that we could find some way of hosting the Annual Novena with people present, even with significantly reduced numbers. However, with ongoing risk assessments, the community feel that it would not be possible to host a popular event like a Novena that would inevitably attract many people.
In this “Year of St Joseph” the theme of this year’s Novena will explore various aspects of his life, including the role of fathers, healthy masculinity, the call to integrity and justice, homeless, care of the vulnerable and the challenges of family life. So we invite you as we celebrate this important saint as a “man for all seasons.”
We will live stream sessions each day at 7.00 am and a candlelight session at 9.00 pm. The morning session will be rebroadcast on our streaming service at 11.00 am, 1.10 pm, 4.30 pm, and 6.00 pm, 7.30 pm and 9.00 pm. Recording of sessions can be accessed at any time on our website or churchservices.tv/Dundalk.
Our church will remain open each day 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, and the monastery shop is now stocking novena packs and Novena Mass cards.
During these challenging times, 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 times of great need, especially to children and mothers in need. His powerful intercession continues to bring comfort and blessing in our needs 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.