Walk to Mass for Iraqi Christians

Gesture of solidarity to persecuted Christians

Irish Catholics have been asked to walk to Mass next Sunday in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with Iraq’s Christians, many of whom have had to flee their homes as a result of persecution.

During a ‘Mass of Solidarity’ in Dublin this week, Fr Robert McCabe, a priest of the Meath diocese, appealed to Irish Catholics to remember the plight of those Iraqi Christians who have been murdered and the many more who have had to flee their homes, often with no more than a moment’s notice.

He told hundreds of Massgoers in St Teresa’s Carmelite Church in Clarendon Street to bring a message to their home parishes: “Perhaps a walk to Mass on Sunday August 31 will sow the seeds of concern, action and generosity in the hearts of Irish men and women as they urge their elected representatives to deepen their concern, action and generosity on the world stage,” Fr McCabe said.


He encouraged parishioners to symbolically leave their cars at home and walk to their parish Masses.

Hundreds of people gathered for the ‘Mass of Solidarity’ including Reform Alliance TD Peter Mathews who read a prayer that politicians would show more concern for those persecuted for their faith. Independent Senator Ronan Mullen was also present.

Fr McCabe said the Mass was “in solidarity with Christian communities and their friends who in recent weeks have seen the darnel of political and religious extremism begin to choke the beauty of friendship and community in different parts of Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.

“We try to connect with people who have carried bread and wine taken from their fields to the altar since the second century – before Patrick even came to our own land,” he said.

A collection was also taken up for Aid to the Church in Need, which works with persecuted Catholics around the globe.