Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Weeklong festival marks Year of Faith at Croagh Patrick

Thousands of people are expected to undertake the pilgrim climb to the summit of Croagh Patrick over the  course of this week.  

Each year, Reek Sunday and Garland Friday (two days earlier) attract large crowds to the sacred mountain, but this year, to coincide with the Year of Faith, a week-long festival has been organised which centres on the mountain itself.

Daily Mass will take place at the summit for ‘Reek Week’ and a series of lectures and guided tours of sites associated with St Patrick have also been arranged.

Yesterday, on the first day of the pilgrimage week, around sixty people climbed the Reek together and attended Mass there.  The celebrant was Fr Shane O’Sullivan from the cathedral parish of Tuam. He told CatholicIreland.net it was a “fantastic experience”. 

“I’m wrecked but in good form.  It was a physical and spiritual workout,” the priest who as born in Chicago related.  He said the pilgrims included people from Louth, Antrim, Mayo, Galway and Kerry as well as a number of foreigners, including “a couple of Yanks, I’m glad to say”.

According to Fr O’Sullivan, there is a “beautiful heritage” attached to Croagh Patrick. “Generations and generations of Irish people have been doing this, bringing their prayers and connecting with God. I think even today, the idea of pilgrimage captures people’s imaginations – the idea of doing something difficult like climbing a mountain, and experiencing  something together.”

Tens of thousands of people are expected to undertake the mountain climb on Reek Sunday (28th July 2013). This tradition has been carried out uninterrupted on the last Sunday in July for over 1,500 years. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be respectful in your comments. Thank you.