THERE was standing room only on the first day of the Limerick Annual Solemn Novena at the weekend, with thousands of people attending the church over its first three days.
Described as Limerick’s Fatima or Lourdes, the eight-day novena, one of the biggest in the country, will continue until this Saturday.
Speaking in the Redemptorist church, Fr Seamus Enright spoke of how the Church is learning to engage in a new dialogue and conversation, saying it’s necessary that it “unlearns [old ways] in order to relearn.”
Fr Enright said “arguments can be toxic and destructive in relationships”, and urged people to search for the right answer together. Petitions written by the public and handed out to the altar were read out, including prayers for all the unborn children in Ireland, as well a wide range of difficult circumstances faced by people - the loss of a friend, the tragic death of a young son, and a man’s battle with cancer.
Rector Fr Adrian Egan said there is “always a great sense of welcome” at the novena, where people gain strength and solace from being with others who are also “searching, yearning and looking for something”.
There are ten masses each day, from 7am to 10.30pm.