BISHOP Brendan Leahy has hailed the “incredible cultural depth” of Limerick.
Speaking as he launched a range of Diocesan cultural events to take place as part of City of Culture, Bishop Leahy said the designation was a “glorious opportunity for Limerick to capture the hearts and minds of the nation”.
An extensive programme of events backed by the Diocese of Limerick includes a Pipe Organ Festival, a series of reflections on ‘Cultures and Beliefs’ during Lent, a Seinn Concert involving over 400 students from 20 schools, and two Easter ceremonies which will be broadcast live on RTÉ.
The Bishop stated that it was incumbent on all organisations and people in Limerick to make the most of the great opportunity that the year-long designation is “in terms of alerting the nation to the enormous cultural depth of the city and county”.
“The City of Culture designation is giving Limerick a national platform to reveal this cultural diversity and richness to the nation and beyond and it is only right that the Diocese would seek to play its part and be much more than simply spectators in this great Limerick celebration of who we are,” he said.
“We have had a considerable cast of people, not least Bishop Donal Murray, who has headed up the Diocesan City of Culture Committee on my behalf, involved in organising what will be enriching cultural and liturgical celebrations.”
One of the main events will take place on March, when leading organist Dr Gerard Gillen opens the year-long Limerick Pipe Organ Festival with a special recital.
The festival will see eight pipe organ concerts take place across the city over the year of culture, with a special concert on May 21 in St John’s Cathedral with famed English organist and composer David Briggs, who will mark the 150th anniversary of the organ.
Limerick’s Christian communities will come together on Wednesdays during Lent at the Hunt Museum which will, the Bishop explained “acknowledge the role of faith and belief in the cultural make-up of the city”.
Seinn - a new initiative of the Dioceses of Limerick and Killaloe to promote liturgical music in second level schools - will take place in UCH on April 3.
RTÉ have committed to broadcast the Good Friday service and Easter Vigil Mass from St John’s Catherdal with the Diocese commissioning Glenstal’s Columba McCann to compose a Mass setting that will be premiered during the televised ceremonies.
Workshops will also take place throughout the year in Mary Immaculate College.
For more information see limerickdiocese.org.