- ‘Year for Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood’ theme of Reek Sunday pilgrimage
This Reek Sunday, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, along with Archbishop Francis Duffy of Tuam, will be available for a photocall on Croagh Patrick mountain in Co Mayo. Details:
Where At the statue of Saint Patrick located at the base of the mountain.
When 8.00am this Reek Sunday, 30 July 2023.
Who Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Francis Duffy, pilgrims, religious and clergy.
Notes for Editors
- Following the 8.00am photocall Archbishop Martin will scale Croagh Parick with pilgrims and celebrate Mass at 11.00am on the summit. While Archbishop Martin has climbed Croagh Patrick before, this will be his first time doing so on Reek Sunday and as Archbishop of Armagh and successor of Saint Patrick.
- From 8.00am on Reek Sunday, Mass will be celebrated on the hour outside of the chapel on the summit of Croagh Patrick. The full schedule for the 2023 annual pilgrimage, which takes place from Garland Friday 28 July, to Reek Sunday 30 July, is set out below:
Garland Friday, 28 July – Local Pilgrimage
10.00am Mass celebrated on the summit of Croagh Patrick celebrated by Westport native Father Tod Nolan
7.00pm Mass at Murrisk Community Café at the base of Croagh Patrick in the car park
Reek Saturday, 29 July
9.00am Tóchar Phádraig pilgrimage begins at Ballintubber Abbey
6.30pm Mass concelebrated for the opening of the pilgrimage in Saint Mary’s Church, Westport, by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, and Archbishop Francis Duffy, Archbishop of Tuam
Reek Sunday, 30 July
7.30am – 2.00pm Confessions available for pilgrims on the summit of Croagh Patrick
8.00am First hourly Mass on the summit celebrated by Father John Kenny, Parish Priest of Partry
9.00am Mass celebrated by Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, Bishop of Waterford & Lismore
10.00am Aifreann Lán Gaeilge ar barr Cruach Phádraig celebrated by Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe
11.00am Mass celebrated by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
Each pilgrim is asked to adhere to the following best practice guidance:
- if you are traveling by car, car-pool if you can, park responsibly and follow the instructions of stewards on the day;
- while climbing, stay on the defined path on the mountain (where in place) and do not encroach on the adjoining habitat which may be in the process of restoration;
- be respectful to the mountain streams which provide drinking water to the local community;
- support our ‘Leave No Trace’ principle by not discarding litter on the mountain and by appropriately disposing of any that you might come across; and,
- as dogs are not permitted on the mountain, please do not bring dogs to Croagh Patrick. I ask all dog owners to respect this requirement.”
Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick (2,510ft/765m), has been undertaken for over 1500 years. Croagh Patrick dominates the landscape of southwest Mayo both spiritually and physically. The pilgrimage is associated with Saint Patrick who, in 441, spent forty days and nights fasting on the summit, following the example of Christ and Moses. The name ‘Reek Sunday’ comes from Patrick’s ability to Christianise many pagan customs including the festival of Lughnasa, which previously heralded the start of the harvest festival honouring the ancient pagan god Lugh, whose name is encompassed in the Irish language word for August: Lughnasa. This festival’s tradition became absorbed into new Christian beliefs and locally become known as Domhnach na Cruaiche (Reek Sunday). A virtual tour and additional information on Croagh Patrick can be viewed on tuamarchdiocese.org and on westportparish.ie.
- Safety advice for pilgrims
Croagh Patrick is a physically demanding pilgrimage. Intending pilgrims should make themselves aware in advance of health and safety information about the mountain. Pilgrims should also heed the instructions of stewards, the mountain rescue teams, Order of Malta, and Gardaí. While it is a custom for some to make the climb barefoot, pilgrims should come prepared for changeable weather conditions, and are advised to bring suitable warm/waterproof clothing, good footwear, walking stick/staff and water, and to be mindful of the safety of themselves and others. See mountaineering.ie and mayomountainrescue.ie/index.php/advice/safety-and-equipment
For media contact the Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth:
Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678