Galway Novena : Irish Catholic Article

Galway Novena : Irish Catholic Article

05 Feb 2015

Galway novena takes to the streets

Organisers are getting inventive to draw in a younger audience, writes Cathal Barry

What do pop superstar Beyoncé and the annual Galway Cathedral novena have in common? A suggestive press release would suggest a lot, so The Irish Catholic went to investigate.

In May 2003, Beyoncé released ‘Crazy in Love’ which went straight to the top of the charts and has subsequently become one of the most performed songs of the last decade.

According to the singer, the hit record speaks “about how, when you are falling in love, you do things that are out of your character and you do not really care because you are just open”.

The lyrics refer to a state of romantic obsession. Being crazy in love means that you are prepared to do crazy things for the person or persons you love.

More than two centuries before Beyoncé released her single, an Italian preacher was using the same language to talk about God. The preacher was St Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Redemptorists.

He used the phrase pazzo per amore to describe God’s ‘crazy’ love for humanity.

It turns out this will be just one of the many topics Redemptorist preachers will be speaking about during the nine day novena in Galway which begins next week.

Something special

Fr Martin Whelan, who is based at Galway Cathedral, believes there is “something special” about this time of year. “Spring time, just before Lent… January can be quite sleepy month so the novena creates a genuine sense of occasion. In a way it is a start to the year in terms of energy and enthusiasm,” Fr Whelan said.

The novena itself is a massive event, not just in the life of the Church, but in the life of Galway city, with an average of 10,000 people passing though the cathedral daily.

“The novena is a massive operation. A whole culture has built up around it. As an institution it’s solidly supported by the people of Galway,” Fr Whelan said.

While the Redemptorists are the facilitators, it’s all hands-on-deck for the cathedral staff and volunteers for the nine days.  Read Full Article 

« Back to Previous Page