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St Ciaran's Pattern Day celebrated in Clonmacnois

Thursday, 14 September 2017

St Ciaran's Pattern Day celebrated in Clonmacnois thumbnailBishop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh & Clonmacnois concelebrated Mass for the Annual Pattern Day in a wind and rain swept Clonmacnois on Sunday last assisted by priests from the Diocese as people huddled around to shelter from the elements.

PILGRIMS from far and wide travelled to Clonmacnois to celebrate the traditional Pattern Day for St Ciaran on Sunday last.
Despite the inclement weather, hundreds of people gathered around the ancient monastic site to mark the occasion as prayers began just before 3pm, followed by a con-celebrated mass. Families were encouraged to attend the special event this year as the diocesan programme in preparation for the World Meeting of Families 2018 was also officially launched at the annual event.
During the homily, Fr Pat Murphy from Mohill, spoke about the World Meeting of Families and why this event was so important to the Church and to society. The gathered congregation heard how the World Meeting of Families began in 1994 at the request of Pope, St John Paul II and was to be an international gathering of participants from around the world. Since then, the event has taken place every three years in locations such as Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Manila, Valencia, Mexico City, Milan, Philadelphia and next year, it will take place in Dublin.
Sharon Connell, from Ferbane, then extended a warm welcome and gratitude for allowing her to share "some thoughts on the family" with the congregation. During the week, Sharon asked the question "what does family mean to you?" and according to Sharon, the responses were "varied and positive" including anything from the "smell of a roast chicken dinner" to a quote from Lilo and Stitch that "family means nobody gets left behind". She then went onto share some thoughts from Pope Francis' document 'Joy of Love".
Later, Dr Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois blessed a number of candles, which he described as "symbols of the light of the Lord's presence". He then went onto thank the members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council who organised the event, both Sharon and Fr Pat for speaking "so movingly and so well about family" as they launched the year of preparation for the World Meeting of Families.
"During the year before the Meeting of Families, various programmes will take place in each parish - Let's Talk Family and Let's Be Family and I hope you will be able to engage with them," the Bishop enthused. He also complimented the wonderful singing of the Ferbane choir along with Fr Tom Cox, from Shannonbridge for all "the great work he does in organising today's event". The Bishop also complimented the Office of Public Works (OPW) for the manner in which they keep this "ancient and sacred" site that so many people come to, both home and abroad, each year.
Meanwhile, the local parish provided hospitality after the event in the local national school, giving everyone a welcome respite from the dismal weather conditions.

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