Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam has announced the cancellation of this year’s Reek Sunday pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick on account of Covid-19 health concerns. Archbishop Neary will celebrate the vigil Mass in Westport on Saturday 25 July at 6:30pm for the intentions of all who intended to make the pilgrimage. Prayer intentions can be emailed at any time to [email protected] or by post to Westport Parish, Co Mayo. This Mass will be live-streamed on the parish Facebook page ‘St Marys Church Westport’ which can be accessed on westportparish.ie.

Archbishop Neary spoke of how the importance of the National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday, and said, “Climbing Ireland’s Holy Mountain provides an opportunity for pilgrims to pray both in petition and in thanksgiving, to participate at Mass and to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance at the summit.”

The archbishop also emphasised how the climb allows pilgrims to better their understanding of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, and become more in touch with nature.

Speaking on the cancellation of this year’s pilgrimage, Archbishop Neary said, “This year, however, having consulted with the various statutory and non-statutory bodies involved in the Reek pilgrimage, having in mind the Government’s “Roadmap” for emerging from the coronavirus pandemic, and accepting the clear public health advice offered, it is necessary to cancel the 2020 National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick on 26 July.”

In conclusion, Archbishop Neary said, “While this decision will be widely understood, it will, of course, be disappointing for the pilgrims and for those who have already done a considerable amount of preparatory work for the pilgrimage. However, the Archdiocese of Tuam and the Parish of Westport wish, by taking this decision now, to support the public authorities, individuals and communities in their efforts to suppress the coronavirus circulating in the community at present and, God willing, look forward to being in a position to resume the annual pilgrimage on Reek Sunday in July 2021.”

ENDS