LIMERICK Redemptorist rector, Fr Seamus Enright said the people of Limerick have invoked the protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in times of difficulty for more than 150 years.
A candle of intercession was lit by Bishop Brendan Leahy during St Patrick’s Day Mass in the Redemptorists Church on St Patrick’s Day. Prayers were said at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help for those suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic and for those who are on the frontline fighting it.
“We are now in a time of great need not just here in Limerick but across the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“At such times we turn to Our Lady and the lighting of the candle is Bishop Leahy’s invitation to the faithful to take part in the nationwide Novena in this time of COVID-19 crisis,” said Fr Enright.
The Novena will culminate with the Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, the Feast Day of the Annunciation.
Fr Enright hasn’t been afraid to speak out in his sermons. At Sunday’s Mass – behind closed doors of course – he requested the Government to close the pubs immediately.
“Masses have been suspended, hospital appointments cancelled, schools and playgrounds closed. It is beyond belief that pubs are still open.”
In the same sermon, Fr Enright urged people to follow the government guidelines and to reduce social interaction to a minimum.
“We need to find imaginative and creative ways of supporting each other and to watch out for the elderly and the vulnerable. Please don’t see others as the enemy and don’t demonise individuals or groups.”
Fr Enright urges people to continue supporting charities like Trocaire and the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
“Think of those who are worse off than we are and who are suffering more than we are. Jesus asks us to remember ‘the least’ of our sisters and brothers.
“Please don’t hoard food. Jesus also challenges his followers not to be afraid. ‘Every time we are tempted to give in to fear we are invited to remember the challenge of Jesus and to make a conscious decision not to panic and not to give in to fear’.
“Lent for Christians is a time for sacrifice. We are invited to incorporate the Government’s guidelines about hand washing, sneeze / cough hygiene and limiting social interaction into our Lenten observances,” said Fr Enright.
He is inviting people to visit Our Lady’s Shrine virtually during these difficult times. It is possible to visit the Redemptorist Church virtually 24/7 and to light a virtual candle on www.novena.ie. It will also be possible to visit the church on weekdays between 10.30am and 7pm and on Sundays from 1pm to 7pm. Fr Enright also invites people to email their prayers to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mass will continue to be celebrated in the Redemptorists at the usual times but behind closed doors. Only the Redemptorists, the lay ministers and the musicians will be in attendance.
“All our Masses will continue to be broadcast on www.novena.ie” said Fr Enright.
Weekday Masses: 8am, 10am and 7.15pm
Novena Masses on Saturday: 10am and 7.15pm
Sunday Masses: 8am, 12 noon and 7.15pm