Fr Oliver Sweeney and Fr Sean Gorman
Part of the congregation pictured outside the church
Bishop Brennan’s statement:
It is a privilege and a pleasure, on behalf of the priests of the Diocese, to thank all involved in this evening’s Prayer for Priests. We priests know that people are praying for us, we know it because they tell us. I’m sure all of us priests here this evening will have had the experience of someone whispering ‘ I pray for you every day.’
While we are aware of this prayerful support an event like this evening makes it more explicit, more visible, more tangible. We priests need this circle of support, we find it a source of strength and encouragement. It is significant that one of the first things our Holy Father, Pope Francis did when preparing to take on the role of successor to Peter, was to ask people to pray for him.
Sixty years ago Fr Patrick Peyton brought his Rosary Crusade to Ireland and he held his last rally here in Our Lady’s Island. We are all familiar with his famous motto ‘ the family that prays together, stays together.’ We here in the diocese are a family too—lay, religious and priests, and the more we pray together the more we are family.
It is a privilege to host Prayer for Priests in our Diocese and having it here in Our Lady’s Island is entirely appropriate because this is an ancient place of pilgrimage, a place where thousands come each year to pray in petition and thanksgiving.
I welcome Marion Mulhall and her sister Eimear to our service this evening. Marion is the driving force behind Prayer for Priests and it is a source of some pride that she comes from our Cathedral town of Enniscorthy. I thank Fr Brendan Nolan and the people of Our Lady’s Island for the warm welcome they extended to us this evening, as they do every year during Pilgrimage time, August 15th to September 8th.