Mary Frawley, Rosbrien, Eoin Mulqueen, Tom Scanlon, John Mulqueen, Hyde Rd, Sr Mara Grace, Ceire Flynn with children Dominic, Maria and Iosaf, Kilcornan, Sr Caitríona, Sr Beatrice, Jim Queally
LIMERICK city’s Dominican sisters are gearing up for the parish’s first festival of its kind in honour of Our Lady of Limerick.
The four Dominican sisters, who moved into the priory from Nashville, Tennessee last year, have been busy preparing for a holy triduum - three days of prayer, devotion and family fun.
The three days - May 25, 26 and 27 - will begin with 1pm Mass and devotions, with various events following across the three days.
On Saturday, May 27, a family festival on the Plaza will delight both parents and children outside the church.
There will be food stalls, live music, face painting and much more.
“We are going to have different games and booths. There will be bubbles and a photobooth, and traditional carnival games. It will be a good day for families and children,” said Sr Beatrice.
“For families, just being together is one of the hardest things, because lives are so busy. The day will be great for just being together, and rediscovering the joy of being together as a family. There will be a simplicity to it,” added the sister.
The sisters also thanked the local community for the support they have received in organising the events, from parishioners, local business and the gardai. The area around Baker Place will be closed to traffic during the Saturday event.
“We have had great support from friends and local families in the parish, and local businesses. The businesses are so involved in the community and they have been so good to donate prizes for raffles and supporting us in these events.
“And of course we can’t do it without the volunteers and parishioners who are helping out,” added Sr Beatrice.
On Thursday, May 25, at 7pm, Eucharistic Adoration and a talk by Fr John Harris O.P. will open the triduum, while on Friday, May 26, at 7pm, the Dominican Sisters will speak about their faith.
The festival is so named after the Our Lady of Limerick statue which resides in St Saviour’s church, which was a gift from Patrick Sarsfield and his wife Eleanor White to the Dominicans in the year 1640.
He donated the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, which received its Limerick name later in reparation for the crime of his uncle.
Years earlier, Patrick’s uncle Sir Dominic Sarsfield sentenced Sir John Burke of Brittas, Captain of Clanwilliam, to death, during a time when Catholics were being persecuted.
“A lot of people in the parish were praying to Our Lady of Limerick when they thought the church might close, so this is a thank you to her,” said Sr Beatrice.
Sr Mara Grace said: “When we arrived, we were so amazed to have Our Lady of Limerick in our own church, and this will be a great way to celebrate her.”
Since the sisters have arrived, the church and parish has been “reinvigorated”, according to a pastoral council spokesperson.
“In keeping the Church open, not only have they breathed new life into the parish but these bright young ladies have brought so many people back to this fantastic old church.
“There have been more Christenings and bookings for weddings in the past 9 months than in the preceding three years cumulatively.”