Pilgrims on Croagh Patrick
The annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage will take place this weekend on Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick, County Mayo, in the Archdiocese of Tuam. This pilgrimage has been undertaken – uninterrupted - for over 1500 years. Croagh Patrick has over 100,000 visitors annually with up to 20,000 people expected on this special weekend.
The 2012 pilgrimage will be led by Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, who this year will be joined by the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, His Excellency Archbishop Charles J Brown. Archbishop Brown was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, on 26 November 2011. On Saturday 28 July at 6.30pm Archbishop Brown will celebrate the Vigil Mass in Westport and Archbishop Neary will preach the homily during the Mass. On Reek Sunday Archbishop Neary and Archbishop Brown will begin their ascent at 7am and accompanying them will be the two most recently ordained priests for the diocese: Father Shane Sullivan, who is curate in the Cathedral parish in Tuam, and Father Eugene O’Boyle who is the priest chaplain attached to the hospitals in Castlebar.
On the summit of Croagh Patrick Mass will be celebrated from 8am and at every half-hour thereafter until the last Mass at 2pm. Archbishop Brown will celebrate Mass at 9.30am; Canon James Walsh, Parish Priest of Kilmeena, will celebrate Aifreann lán Gaeilge at 10am; and Archbishop Neary will celebrate Mass at 10.30am. Pilgrims may avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the summit from 7.30am to 2.30pm.
Croagh Patrick is a physically demanding pilgrimage. All those who intend to make the pilgrimage climb are asked to come prepared with for the changeable weather conditions, to bring suitable warm/waterproof clothing, good footwear, a walking stick/staff and water, and to be mindful of the safety of themselves and other pilgrims.
A special website feature is now available on www.catholicbishops.ie It includes a video interview with Archbishop Neary on the significance of the Croagh Patrick pilgrimage for people of faith; highlights recent pilgrimages including television footage of Reek Sunday 2008; and, gives background information on Croagh Patrick.