CLONARD Monastery is once again gearing up to host the annual Solemn Novena from tomorrow, Wednesday, and just like last year, the faithful will be participating virtually via the Monastery webcam.
The Novena normally attracts up to 15,000 people a day from all Christian denominations to the Monastery over the nine days.
As Covid-19 hit last year, churches were closed and the decision was taken to work in conjunction with fellow Redemptorists at Mount St. Alphonsus Church in Limerick whose Novena normally begins a few days after Clonard.
Discussing this year's plans, Fr Peter Burns, Rector of Clonard said: The Solemn Novena begins on Wednesday 16 June and once again it will be online.
“We did give some consideration to having the Novena in church but our capacity in Clonard is currently 145 people. If we opened the church for the Solemn Novena we would normally have up to 1,000 people in the church.
“If even half that number turned up then we would have problems and couldn’t possibly manage the numbers of people who would almost certainly come as it wouldn’t be safe.
“As such, we felt that we had no other option but to go online this year.”
As this is The Year of St Joseph, the Monastery decided to base the topic for each day on some aspect of St Joseph: the role he played before Jesus was born; his presence at the birth of Jesus; husband to Mary; and his parenting of Jesus.
In addition to the Protestant preachers who will join the Novena on Monday 21 June, Fr Peter Burns, Fr Johnny Doherty and Fr Ciaran O’Callaghan will be joined by two additional guest speakers in Helena Connolly, who worked with Redemptorist Mission Teams in Clonard, in Esker, and in Limerick. They will also be joined by Fr Brendan O’Rourke, formerly Rector of Clonard who is now living in the Redemptorist Community in Dublin.
There will be four Sessions each day at 7.00am, 9.30am, 6.15pm and 8.00pm. The Novena Masses can be viewed via the Clonard webcam.