Big names lined up for the Graan Novena

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Fr Brian D’Arcy will lead the Novena of Hope at the Graan
The 27th Novena of Hope at The Graan this year will be graced with some of the best known speakers in Ireland, including Hurling legend Henry Shefflin and champion jockey Johnny Murtagh.
 Adi Roche and  Declan Coyle are two other high profile speakers part of a carefully chosen team who will help the thousands who come to the Novena to find hope even in the darkest corners of life. 
The Novena of Hope this year begins on Saturday, February 27 at 6.30pm Mass and will continue each day until Monday March 7 at The Graan, Enniskillen.
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Novena of Hope takes on a special significance and will be one of North’s most important gatherings  celebrating the Jubilee Year. 
The Novena opens at the Vigil Mass (6.30pm) on Saturday February 27 and will continue on Sunday 28th at 9am, 10.30am, 12noon and 4pm Masses. Fr Brian D’Arcy, Rector of The Graan, will preach at all the opening Masses. 
The Novena continues on Monday February 29 with Mass at 12.30pm. Fr Brian will speak at the midday service. 
At 8pm organisers have the founder and CEO of Chernobyl Children International, Adi Roche  as their speaker. Roche has been an outstanding figure in Ireland fighting for justice, peace and, most famously, giving support and hope to children living in the aftermath of the Chernobyl meltdown which occurred 30 years ago in April 1986. Adi has raised over €100 million worth of aid to date. 
On Tuesday there is a special day of Reconciliation. The preacher is Fr Frank Trias, a newly ordained Passionist priest. In all there will be 12 priests at both the 12.30pm and 8pm services. 
On Wednesday the speaker is Declan Coyle, author of the best selling  book, The Green Platform and director of Andec Communications. One of Ireland’s most experienced leadership and training development consultants Declan is a powerful speaker with a wonderful message and will have a few surprises  at both sessions on Wednesday. The morning session on Wednesday is at 11am, the evening at 8pm. 
At 2.30pm there is an additional service dedicated to the sick. Hundreds, too sick to attend the others services, will be welcomed for a special Mass of healing and anointing. 
On Thursday 3rd March the audience will be inspired by Johnny Murtagh, the legendary Irish flat racing jockey and trainer. Johnny has won all the major races, including the King George V and The Prix de l’Arc de Triumphe and was Irish Flat Racing Champion Jockey five times.
He has had to fight many demons along the way, but has overcome them all and is now a successful trainer. 
On Friday Fr Brian will speak at the 12.30pm service, but on Friday evening at 8pm the most decorated hurler in the history of the game, the recently retired Henry Shefflin will speak.
As a senior inter-county hurler with Kilkenny he won 13 Leinster Championships, 10 All-Ireland medals, the most in history, six National Hurling Leagues and 11 All-Stars. 
Saturday will be a hopeful and beautiful occasion. The morning session is at 11am and the evening session is at the normal 6.30pm Mass. The speaker is Daraine Mulvihill. Daraine has a most uplifting story to share. The daughter of Liam Mullvihill, the former director general of the GAA, she is a survivor of Meningitis. She lost both her legs due to illness when she was just 16 years old. She was so ill, that she was not expected to live, but she survived and has become an inspiring young woman. Daraine will speak at both the 11am and 6.30pm services. 
At 2.30pm on Saturday there is a second day for the sick. 
On Sunday Fr Brian will speak at the 9am Mass, but Fr Brendan McManus SJ will be in place at 10.30am, 12noon and 4pm Masses. Fr Brendan is a native of Fermanagh and is a spiritual director in the Jesuit House in Belfast. He will tell his own story which involves becoming a very successful young businessman in England and Australia before leaving it all to become a Jesuit priest. Devastated by his brother Donal’s death in 2005 it left him with a crisis of faith. He went on a gruelling Camino pilgrimage during which he came to terms with Donal’s death. Later he wrote a bestselling book, Redemption Road, on his experiences. The proceeds of the book were donated to Console, an organisation which helps families come to terms with suicide. Brendan’s story will be particularly relevant during this year’s Novena. 
On the last day of the Novena Monday March 7 the newly installed Rector of Rossorry Church of Ireland, Dr Ian Ellis will be the preacher. He will speak at both the 12.30pm and 8pm closings. Archdeacon Cecil Pringle will also speak on what will be an ecumenical closing to the Novena of Hope in the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
You can visit the website at for full details of Novena services and email at

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