On Friday 16 March, the eve of Saint Patrick’s Day, the two Archbishops of Armagh, Archbishop Eamon Martin and Church of Ireland Archbishop Richard Clarke will join together to host the annual Saint Patrick’s Lecture at at 11.00 am in the Market Place Theatre in Armagh.
At the lecture the Archbishops will reflect on the ministry and legacy of our National Patron, Saint Patrick. Following the lecture, UTV presenter Sarah Clarke will host a discussion with the Archbishops on the words of Saint Patrick, and how his message still resonates and holds relevance for many of the challenges faced by people today.
Reflecting on the life of our National Patron ahead of the event, Archbishop Martin said, ‘Saint Patrick, himself a migrant, was called to serve and bring God to a people far from his home. I encourage the faithful at this time to pray for migrants, and all who struggle to live and integrate into new cultures, at home and abroad, arising from displacement and poverty.’
In addition to the lecture, Archbishop Bashar Warda, Archbishop of Erbil in Iraq, will address the audience in a specially prepared video message for the event. Archbishop Warda is Archbishop of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities which is now facing extinction. Archbishop Warda last visited Ireland in 2011, where he spoke on the persecution of Christians in Iraq at Armagh Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Dundalk, Co Louth.
That evening, Archbishops Martin and Clarke will welcome visitors for a torch-lit procession between the two Saint Patrick’s Cathedrals. The procession will begin at the Church of Ireland cathedral with prayers led by Archbishop Richard Clarke, and will conclude with prayers led by Archbishop Eamon Martin. Refreshments will be offered afterwards in Synod Hall, which is beside Archbishop Martin’s residence in Ara Coeli.
The annual lecture is a free event as part of the Saint Patrick’s Festival in Armagh, though booking is essential through the Market Place Theatre website.
Alongside this event, the Armagh Parish Novena to Saint Patrick, which began on 8 March, will continue throughout the week in the parish churches of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and Saint Malachy’s Church until 16 March. The theme of this year’s novena is ‘Remembering Patrick: a man of Faith’.
Novena prayers will be offered at all Masses during the nine days. All Mass times for Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and Saint Malachy’s Church can be found on www.armaghparish.net. Archbishop Martin will welcome His Excellency, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, to celebrate the closing Mass in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral at 6.00pm on 16 March.
For more information please see www.armaghparish.net.