On the Vigil of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (Friday, February 10th) the prayers took place in St. John the Baptist church in Ovens.
More than a hundred parishioners of Ballinora, Ballincollig, Ovens / Farran Family of Parishes gathered to pray because ‘a family that prays together stays together’. There were many more joining online.
People were welcomed by John McCarthy, the chairperson of Ovens / Farran Parish Assembly. Then Fr. Ronan Sheehan exposed the Blessed Sacrament and led the congregation through the prayers. There was the Gospel reading about the blind man in Jericho, a reflection, an extract of Pope Francis’ Message for the 31st World Day of the Sick and prayers of intercession as well. The central and the most powerful part of the service was the Anointing of the Sick. The priests present administered the Sacrament of the Sick to those who wanted to receive from God the grace of healing of any kind, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.
The Anointing was followed by the 5th Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary: The Crowning of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth. That was a moment to focus on Our Lady of Lourdes, Health of the Sick.
It concluded with Benediction, Blessing with the Blessed Sacrament and the Divine Praises.
The words of thanks were expressed by Fr. Liam O h-Ici. He thanked those involved in preparations for the event: the organising committee (Sr. Nan O’Mahony, Annette Stephen, Virginia Harrington, Peter Deasy, Maurice Bunyan, Peter Lesiak, Fr. Kamil Bachara), the choirs and their conductors for a really lovely musical input that made the prayer service so prayerful and spiritual, the organist, the readers, the sacristan and the priests. A sincere thanks to those present in the church and those joining online.
Photos: Binu Thomas and Peter (Przemek) Lesiak