Hector and John Bruton for Parish Novena

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A former Taosieach and a comedian make up part of this year’s line up for this year’s Portlaoise Parish Novena.

A former Taosieach and a comedian make up part of this year’s line up for this year’s Portlaoise Parish Novena.

John Bruton and Hector O’ hEochagain will be among the big names that will take to the puplit for this year’s Novena. Other speakers will include local rapper Wally O’Loughlin and Brenda Drumm who will speak about her personal recovery from cancer.

This year’s Novena will be run over nine days, instead of the usual nine weeks, beginning on February 28 and ending on March 8.

“We wanted to intensify the positive experience this year by running the Novena over nine days as oppose to nine weeks, and a lot of people have committed to this already,” explained Fr Paddy Byrne.

He continued: “There will be five masses every day at 7am, 10am, 12noon Monday to Friday, 7.30pm and Midnight.”

Different priests have been invited to lead the Masses including the singing priest from YouTube, Fr Ray Kelly, Fr Liam Lawton, Fr Brian Shorthall and other diocesan priests along with Bishop Denis Nulty and the Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Parish Church later this year, any couple who has been married in the church in the last 50 years are invited to renew their wedding vows at a special mass on Monday, March 2 at 7.30pm.

There will also be a special mass for families affected by suicide at midnight on Friday, March 6.

Fr Paddy added: “We’ve been overwhelmed by people’s response. Already we have over 2,000 petitions. People are making the commitment to coming to mass every day for the nine days.
“There will be a warm welcome for everyone.”