On Sunday, February 4th, Bishop Brendan gathered with the Religious of the Diocese and a number of our diocesan priests and laity to pray with and for all who have given their lives in service of the Religious Life. This was Bishop Brendan’s last official engagement in the diocese before he takes up his new role as Bishop of Galway on Sunday next.
He spoke of the absolute need for faith and trust in the future; “We can’t go back”, he said “like Jesus in this weekend’s Gospel, we need to go elsewhere …. in prayer, Jesus received and found what he needed to carry on”. He reflected on his own move to Galway and that the future is totally in God’s hands – as is all of the future. “Religious life is always about encountering people, encountering where they are.” “Churches”, he said “were built so that people could gather together and be alone in the encountering of Jesus.”
His encouragement to all gathered was to keep engaging with people – meeting and being with them for that is the core of the Religious calling.
He used the occasion to thank all the Religious of the diocese for the wonderful support they had been to him over the past ten years. He asked them to continue to keep him in prayer as he will keep them.
Fr Steve Gibson, CSC, spoke on behalf of all the Religious gathered and wished Bishop Brendan every success in his new role and concluded with a prayer of blessing.
Our Lady of Lourdes
Pray for us
The Achonry and Killala annual joint diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes began on 23 August. This pilgrimage is the 42nd annual joint pilgrimage to Lourdes between the dioceses of Achonry and Killala and it will last five days, from 23 August until Sunday 28 August.
This year’s pilgrimage will be led by Bishop John Fleming, Bishop of Killala and by Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry. Spiritual Directors for the pilgrimage are Father Tom Doherty, Killala Diocese, and Father John Maloney, Achonry Diocese.
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, all pilgrims to Lourdes will have the special opportunity to enter through the Door of Mercy which is located at Saint Michael’s gate, near the Breton Cross in the Sanctuary of our Lady of Lourdes.
Pilgrims from both dioceses departed today from Ireland West Airport Knock to Lourdes, the small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees which rose to prominence in 1858 due to the Marian apparitions seen by Bernadette Soubirous, who was later canonized.
Today, Lourdes hosts around six million visitors every year from all corners of the world. This constant stream of pilgrims and tourists transformed quiet Lourdes into the second most important centre of tourism in France, second only to Paris, and the third most important site of international Catholic pilgrimage after Rome and the Holy Land.
Bishop Brendan, together with priests and people from the diocese, gathered at noon on Sunday December 13th to celebrate Mass and open the “Door of Mercy” in the Cathedral of The Annunciation and St Nathy, Ballaghaderreen. The ceremony, simple and to the point, sought to mark the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy called for by Pope Francis. Michael McCormack a local photographer has supplied the accompanying images.