Lochside Garage

Crowds flock to the Graan for Fr Charles’ first Novena

Fr Charles Cross is delighted to be hosting Novena

THE annual Graan Novena is underway on the outskirts of Enniskillen as it marks its 29th anniversary
Fr Brian D’Arcy may have moved on but the major spiritual event is still expected to attract large numbers from all over Ireland under its new host Fr Charles Cross.
“We had a great crowd on Monday morning which was wonderful to see. The bad weather hasn’t had too much of an impact although Sunday morning was awful when we looked out and saw the snow. Thankfully people are still turning out in great numbers which bodes well for the rest of the week,” said Fr Charles , who opened the 2018 Novena of Hope on Saturday on the theme of family to coincide with the World Meeting on Families taking place in Dublin this August. 
He preached at the weekend opening Masses and paved the way for seven guest preachers. These included Pat Coyle, Director of Irish Jesuit Communications on Monday followed yesterday (Tuesday) by Fr Paul Farren, Administrator of St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry who led the day of reconciliation. 
The Novena continues until Monday next, March 12th. Former Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, Trevor Williams will speak today (Wednesday). He has also served as assistant chaplain at Queen’s University, religious producer for BBC Radio Ulster and as leader of the Corrymeela Community. 
Cavan native Anne Loughman will also address the event tomorrow (Thursday) on the theme of handing on the values of Christ to the next generation. After rearing her family, Anne went to All Hallows College in Dublin to study Pastoral Leadership and has just completed a two year course in Spiritual Accompaniment with the Jesuits.     
Friday will be a historic day at The Graan when a permanent Roman Catholic lay deacon will preach. Rev John Taafe, who is married with three children, is Pastoral Co-ordinator in Armagh Diocese and has worked for many years in the area of youth, addiction and trauma. Passionist student Anthony Connelly and Chaplain in the City of Glasgow College will speak over this weekend while Jarlath Burns, principal of St Paul’s High School in Bessbrook will close the event on Monday. Jarlath was a Gaelic football analyst on BBC’s The Championship and The Sunday Game on RTE and last spoke at the Graan in 2003.  

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