Kilkenny’s hurling manager Brian Cody is coming to Portlaoise tomorrow night, Wednesday February 27, to speak at the third Solemn Novena night in St Peter & Paul’s Parish church, at 7,30pm.
The packed out religious event began a fortnight ago with a talk from popular 2FM DJ, the ebullient Hector O’Heochagáin.
Co-ordinator Fr Paddy Byrne was delighted with the warm reception Hector received, as did the Portlaoise Gospel Choir who performed for the opening night.
“It went extremely well. We had over 2,500 people. There was a real sense of hope, and of comfort. We have received thousands of personal petitions,” he said.
During the evening Hector explained his own personal mantra, ‘keep her lit’.
“The light of hope is greater than that of negativity. In a time when so many are experiencing financial hardship, he spoke of the wealth of love and of health. It was a joyful occasion,” Fr Byrne said.
The numbers were equally high for the second of the nine masses, when RTE’s Nationwide presenter Mary Kennedy shared her story of faith to an attentive audience last Wednesday, signing copies of her book “Lines for Living”, afterwards.
“Her reflection on her own life, faith and membership of the Catholic Church, provided for a thought provoking, and in many ways, challenging talk,” said Fr Byrne.
Tomorrow the legendary manager Brian Cody, who has brought Kilkenny eight All Ireland titles, including four in a row, will ensure once again a packed attendance in the Parish Church, as he explains how discipline brings success in life.
The Solemn Novena is an opportunity for parishioners to write down their personal prayers which are then prayed of over nine nights. Following the speaker is Mass and Benediction each Wednesday night. Different local choirs will feature on each night, with a particular musically uplifting night sure to be found when Fr Liam Lawton makes his appearance in the coming weeks. Those who cannot make it to the Novenas can take part via webcam, through the website www.portlaoiseparish.ie.
Over the following weeks, speakers will include retired Mountjoy Prison Governer John Lonergan, singer Frances Black, MEP Brian Crowley, Young Person of the Year Joanne O’Riordan and jockey Johnny Murtagh.
“They are all here to share their own stories, and to give us hope and encouragement, they all have something significant to say,” said Fr Byrne.