Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 19 September |
Our Lady of La Salette
home iconNews
line break icon

An Irish blessing in the time of pandemic

FATHER RICHARD GIBBONS

Knock Shrine | Facebook | Fair Use

John Burger - published on 04/29/20 - updated on 04/29/20

Rector of the shrine of Knock goes house to house to bring hope to stranded Catholics.

People are not able to gather in large numbers in church. But in at least one part of Ireland, a priest is going out to see the people.

Fr. Richard Gibbons, the rector of Knock Shrine in Mayo, Ireland’s national Marian shrine, spent three-and-a-half days traveling the local area to offer blessings.

“Equipped with copious amounts of holy water, a Bible and his white cassock, Fr. Gibbons visited some 58 townlands between Tuesday and Friday of last week,” reported the Irish Post. “Eager to offer some support and solace to the many believers unable to attend church under the current government lockdown restrictions, Fr. Gibbons had originally intended to bless the holy water fonts located in the parish.”

But he began to notice that wherever he went local people would come to their windows or doors.

“After blessing a few of the houses on his route, word began to get round, prompting Fr. Gibbons to embark on a systematic blessing of the entire region,” the Post said. He estimated that he blessed 1,000 homes in the end.

“The main idea was to help the people understand that we haven’t forgotten them and [we knew] that they’d like to see me in person as well,” he said. “I blessed every single house, but if I saw somebody outside of the house or near it or farmers in their land I’d talk to them and just say hello and ask them how they were doing and that kind of thing.”

Said Fr. Gibbons, “Even with the social distancing there’s nothing to beat a face to face or a person to person connection and they really do appreciate it.”

Tags:
CoronavirusIreland

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
2
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
3
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
4
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
5
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
6
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
7
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.