The Dominican Friars were delighted to be invited to preach the annual Parish Mission at St. Patricks Parish, Donegal Street in Belfast recently.
In the season of Lent 1866, eight Dominican friars were invited by Bishop Patrick Dorrian, D.D. Bishop of Down and Connor to preach in the City churches of Belfast. One Hundred and Fifty years later, the friars were invited back to preach in St. Patricks, the very church were Bishop Dorrian was consecrated a Bishop and were he was later buried in the sanctuary in 1885.
St. Patricks in the heart of Belfast City is a vibrant church and resplendent in architectural beauty and despite a difficult history which included a serious fire, the church this last year has celebrated its Bi-Centenary of its existence as a beacon of hope in the tragic history of Belfast City.
The week long mission, by Fr. John Walsh OP, Fr. John Harris OP, Fr. Ciaran Dougherty OP and Deacon Br. Eoin Casey OP, centred on preaching the Mercy of Christ through the ministry of his Church. The themes which were preached on by the friars, included, The Church as the Door of Mercy, the Eucharist as the Source of Mercy, Healing as the merciful touch of Christ, Prayer as the Door of Mercy, Confession, the Sacrament of Mercy and Mary, Mother of Mercy.
Two Masses were celebrated daily which were proceeded and followed by the availability of friars for Confession. The evening session was a solemn Holy Hour, including Rosary, Sermon and Benediction. Over twelve hours of confessions were heard on the Friday and another 12 hours on Saturday. The Sacrament of the Sick was celebrated on the Wednesday with the traditional Dominican blessing of roses and flowers for the sick. Rosaries were blessed and sanctified on the Saturday dedicated to the Mother of Mercy, again another great Dominican tradition.
The Parish Secondary and Primary Schools were visited over three days and great fun was had by all in the classrooms and assembly halls.
The final Mass was celebrated to conclude the Bi-Centenary on the Sunday by Bishop Noel Treanor, D.D. Bishop of Down and Connor and concelebrated by the Parish Clergy and Dominican Friars.
May God be praised, His Church rejoice and the Truth preached in mercy.