Lough Derg numbers buck decade of decline

FOR the first time in a decade pilgrimage numbers at Lough Derg have increased. Scores of additional visitors joined three day pilgrimages this year.
Fr La Flynn commenting at the end of the three day pilgrimage season said, “My heart is lifted by a little sign of hope in terms of our numbers. People often ask me about the numbers on the pilgrimage. After ten years, a full decade of declining numbers, not dramatically, but steadily from year to year. This year we held firm our numbers from last year and actually increased by a few score. So I thank God for that.” 
The last boat left Lough Derg on 15 August, concluding the season. The transition to the one day retreats followed on 17 August.
Fr La Flynn added, “Please God the people who come as the autumn unfolds there will be plenty more by way of fruitfulness and grace.” 
At Lough Derg, Fr Flynn said, “As the years move on perhaps Lough Derg is shedding something of that darker narrative that speaks of harshness and pain and people are talking more about the blessing of this place and the hope, the comfort and the compassion of God that it offers to their lives.”
He also thanked the staff at Lough Derg who had provided a welcome for pilgrims. 

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