FOR THE first time in eight years the Sacred Heart Church at the Crescent has opened its doors with hundreds attending the first novena since the historic re-opening.
Canon Wulfran Lebocq, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, said “it is a great joy for a priest to see a church coming back to life with such a large attendance”.
Speaking in his homily during the last day of the novena, he spoke of the restoration of the church, which he told the Limerick Leader has cost €80,000 to repair since it re-opened a year and a half ago.
The church has recently installed two angels and a marble pulpit from the Franciscan church on Henry Street, but the order is seeking donations of some €22,800 for the payment of these artefacts.
The angels will be blessed before Sunday mass on July 6 at 10.30am by His Eminence Cardinal Burke.
“Every day this church comes one step closer to life. The recent installation of these two pieces of art is a sign that this church is being faithful to its vocation. God did not permit it to be turned into a leisure centre, a spa or other profane use,” he told the congregation.
He continued: “It remains a sacred building where everyone can adore Jesus like the angels and where the timeless teachings of the Catholic Church can be explained in its integrity from this beautiful pulpit. When people speak about the Sacred Heart and Limerick, the connection with the ‘Jesuit church’ is easily made.
“People remember coming here, reciting prayers and acts of consecrations to the Sacred Heart or singing hymns. This church is one of the glories of Limerick, the first one of Ireland ever to be dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. But this church, like Jesus, also suffered its passion”.