After a truly successful series of events around the country, with thousands arriving to pray at each venue to which the relics of St Claude were brought, the relics are due in Dublin before being brought back to France, writes Bernard McGuckian SJ.
The relics of St Claude La Colombière will arrive at the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin on the evening of Wednesday July 19th at 5 45 p.m. and leave for France on the morning of Friday July 21st. at 10 a.m.
Veneration will be on-going during this 40 hour period at the Pro-Cathedral during the day-light hours. During the night hours of Wednesday/Thursday they will be at the Pioneer Club, 27 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1 and on Thursday/Friday at the Legion of Mary Hostel, Morning Star, Brunswick Street.
Experience around the country, as well as the volume of inquiries at the Diocesan and Pioneer Offices, indicate that we can expect a big response when the relics return to Dublin. In the cathedrals around the country people came in a steady stream to venerate the relics all the time they were available. In Letterkenny, for example, the Administrator estimates that 12,000 people turned up. Large numbers availed of the opportunity for confessions.
It is impossible to know beforehand what will happen in Dublin but our hope is that many will use the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, something which St Claude used to great evangelical effect. It could be a providential opportunity for us to “launch out into the deep” with Peter and “let out our nets for a catch”. What generation of Irish priests more than our own has felt the force of Peter’s doleful complaint about “toiling all night and catching nothing.” And yet Peter had hardly finished speaking when he and his companions were hardly able to drag the catch to the shore.
We will start making confessions available after the 5 45 p.m. Mass. We expect to be particularly busy all day Thursday, July 20th.