Blessing of engaged couple by Bishop Denis Nulty at the Shrine of Saint Valentine

10 Feb 2017

  • 2016 figures for attendance at Accord’s sacramental marriage preparation courses and demand for marriage counselling sessions

The Feast of Saint Valentine will be celebrated this Tuesday 14 February.  You, or a representative, are invited to a photocall for the blessing of an engaged couple (details below) at the Shrine of the holy relics of Saint Valentine in Dublin city.  Bishop Denis Nulty, President of Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service, will launch the Accord 2016 figures for sacramental marriage preparation and for marriage and relationship counselling.  The 2016 figures will also indicate recent annual trends in both Accord services, and by region.  Details:

Time and date            Tuesday 14 February 2017 at 11.00am at the Shrine of Saint Valentine.

Venue                         Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

In attendance             Bishop Nulty will bless the engaged couple Ms Carol Dignam from Kilcock, Co Kildare, and Mr Tim Boylan from Foxrock, Dublin.  Representatives of Accord will also be in attendance.

Notes to Editors

  • Bishop Nulty is Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.  Father Brian McKay OCarm is Prior and Father Seán MacGiollarnáth OCarm is Parish Priest of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.  Carol works for Deloitte in Learning & Professional Education and Tim is a restaurant manager in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.  The couple met in Bundaberg when they were both travelling around Australia and are planning to marry in 2018 in Saint Coca’s Church, Kilcock, in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.  Photographs from the blessing of the engaged couple will also be available to media from John McElroy on +353 (0) 87 241 6985 and [email protected].
  • Holy relics of Saint Valentine are interred in the Carmelite Church in Whitefriar Street, Dublin.  Saint Valentine, a priest in ancient Rome, is regarded as the patron saint of couples in love, preparing for marriage and of married life.  According to tradition, Saint Valentine was martyred on 14 February 250 AD.  In 1836 relics that were exhumed from the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina, near Rome, were identified with Saint Valentine.  These relics were placed in a casket, donated by Pope Gregory XVI, and transported to the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin where they continue to be venerated by the faithful to this day.
  • Accord, Catholic Marriage Care Service, is an agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.  The first Accord centre in Ireland was opened in 1962 at Saint Mary’s Parish, Belfast, in the Diocese of Down & Connor.  Accordcurrently operates in 55 centres throughout the island of Ireland – North and South – and is committed to providing a professional service serving the pastoral needs of individuals at different stages in their development – in schools through its Relationship and Sexuality Education programmes; in helping couples prepare for marriage; and through its provision and support for couples and individuals through its marriage and relationship counselling service.  Members come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are trained and work under supervision in accordance with best practice.  TUSLA Child and Family Agency (RoI) is the major source of funding for Accord in the Republic of Ireland.  Accord also operates with the support of the Health Service Executive (RoI) and in Northern Ireland some funding comes from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (NI) policy unit.


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678