Ballybrit to mark Rome canonisations

Invitation extended for major outdoor event

The Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora is extending an invitation to a very special Mass of Thanksgiving at Ballybrit Racecourse this April 27 to mark the canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, the latter of whom visited the site during his 1979 papal trip to Ireland, an event “still fondly remembered,” said Bishop Martin Drennan.

In collaboration with the Galway Race Committee, the Galway diocese will host the Mass at 12pm, coinciding with the canonisations in Rome. Commencing with a short film of John Paul’s visit to Ballybrit, at 11am, the event also sees an outdoor screening of events in Rome at 11.15am, and after Mass, catechesis for youth groups at 2pm.

Fr Sean McHugh, of the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora said: “Preparations are underway to ensure that the event will be memorable and worthwhile. Many people who attended the Galway rally in 1979 are looking forward to Pope John Paul’s canonisation and will return to Ballybrit in his honour on April 27.”

Pictured at Ballybrit Racecourse before the bronze memorial to Pope John Paul II’s visit are (l-r): John Coyle, John Maloney and chairman Terry Cunningham of Galway Race Committee with Bishop Martin Drennan.