Mass will be celebrated on the shores of Lough Mohra in the Comeragh Mountains on Bank Holiday Monday at 3 pm to mark the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland later this month.
The people of a rural parish near Carrick-on-Suir will celebrate Mass at a scenic Comeragh Mountains lake on Bank Holiday Monday close to where their ancestors worshipped in secret during Penal Times.
Parishoners of Rathgormack and Clonea-Power Parish will hike up to the shores of Lough Mohra that lies under Knockanaffrin peak for the Mass celebrated by their parish priest Fr P J Fegan at 3pm on Monday.
Fr Fegan said the Mass was being organised to mark the upcoming visit of Pope Francis 1 to Ireland and the Catholic Church's World Meeting of Families in Dublin, which the Pope will be attending.
"My idea is for the parish to do something together to mark the occasion. Our ancestors were the ones who kept our faith going and we will be the people who pass on the faith to the next generation.”
He hopes the Mass will be a joyful and memorable event for the parish.
Lough Mohra was chosen as the venue as a Mass rock is located in its vicinity. The rock was used as a place of worship for Catholics persecuted by the Penal Laws during the 18th century. Knockanaffrin literally translates as Hill of the Mass.
Fr Fegan said it wasn't suitable to have the ceremony at the actual Mass rock as its location was too physically dangerous so they are celebating it at the lake side.
Michael O'Donoghue of Rathgormack Ramblers hiking club will lead the pilgrimage walk from the R678 Rathgormack to Clonmel Road up to Lough Mohra. The hike will take approximately 45 minutes along a forestry track with the final ten minutes of the trek over a mountain path.
Limited car parking will be available at the start of the forestry trail and the organisers are recommending that people car pool to get to the start point.
A limited mini-bus service provided by Local Link Waterford is being organised for people wishing to attend the Mass who do not have transport or will find the walk difficult.
A bus will depart Clonea Church at 1.30pm on Monday stopping at Rathgormack Community Centre to pick up more people at 1.45pm.
Another bus point will be located at the start of the walk. To book a place on a bus, please contact the following: Mary Greene at (086) 2447768 or Maura Brunnock at (051) 646077 by today Wednesday, August 1.
People attending the Mass are advised to wear suitable footwear and clothing and bring a bottle of water. They may also consider taking a small fold up chair or blanket if they wish to sit while at the lake.
After the Mass, the congregation will return to Rathgormack Community & Hiking Centre where refreshments will be served.