Lent is underway at Mullingar Cathedral
Extra Masses in the Cathedral, a novena to ‘Our Lady of Knots’ and plenty of Trocaire boxes all form part of the Cathedral’s programme for the 40 days of Lent.
“I have already seen a big increase in the number of people coming to Mass for Lent” Fr Padraig McMahon said. “I am constantly impressed by the people who make an extra effort over Lent, giving the beginning of their day to the Lord.”
The Cathedral parish newsletter gives “seven ideas” for people to consider doing between now and Easter Sunday (5 April).
Among the suggestions is a weekly novena on Wednesday nights at 7.30pm. This novena follows a devotion that Pope Francis has made popular. It prays to ‘Our Lady of Knots’, based on the understanding that prayer helps people to ‘untie the knots’ that cause pain or unease in life.
A photographic display was unveiled in the Cathedral porch, promoting the Trocaire Lenten appeal. The photos give an insight to Trocaire’s work in Ethiopia, where climate change is leading to prolonged droughts and food shortages. Hannah Evans from Mullingar, who works with the Church charity agency, explains that “Trócaire has brought irrigation and increased food production to over 30,000 people in the country. Irrigation has enabled farmers in Ethiopia to harvest up to three times a year (before it was just once) and to boost crop production. Climate change means that farmers have to be trained in new farming techniques, while newly constructed hygiene and sanitation facilities have greatly improved the standards of health in the community.”
Meanwhile, the Cathedral hosts a parish meeting on Tuesday (24 February) to look at the place of family life in the parish and the Church. Fr McMahon asked parishioners to share their advice from their experiences of family life. The feedback at the parish meeting will form part of the respond from the Diocese of Meath to Pope Francis, who requested this public consultation ahead of the Synod of Bishops which will take place in Rome in October 2015.