The Graan Novena of Hope 2019 Info

Novena of Hope at the Graan to celebrate

300 Years of Passionist Life


The Novena of Hope begins this year on 23rd March at 6:30 pm and will continue each day until the 1st April 2019 at our Passionist Church, The Graan, in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

A Novena is nine days of prayer. It originates from apostolic times. It is believed that the apostles waited in the Upper Room after Ascension Day until Pentecost which is a period of nine days. They spent their time in prayer in company with the Mother of Jesus watching, waiting and wanting the Spirit of God to come to them.

This year the Novena will mark the occasion of the founding of the Passionist Religious Congregation by St. Paul of the Cross in 1720. To celebrate this third centenary of the founding of the Congregation of the Passion a specially written icon will be present in the Graan Church during the time of Novena. This icon is visiting 63 countries around the world where the Passionists live and minister. The icon is in Byzantine style with an image of the Virgin Mary and the Founder of the Passionist St. Paul of the Cross at the foot of the Cross. The Cross is central to Passionist’s message which is seen always as the “greatest work of God’s love.” The two doors on each side of the central section of the icon show images of St. Gabriel, the patron of the Graan, St. Gemma Galgani, Blessed Brother Isidore de Loor and the ecumenical missionary Blessed Dominic Barberi.

This will be the thirtieth anniversary of the Novena. It caters for people of all faiths and all who are struggling to make sense of their lives. The Novena began under the directorship of Fr. Brian D’Arcy and is now a major spiritual event in Fermanagh and the surrounding counties. 

The speakers at the Novena include Father Charles Cross, who is the Superior of the Graan. He will open the Novena on the weekend of the 23/24 March with words of welcome to all, a blessing of the icon, and a word of hope on the goodness and mercy of the Lord. 

Martina Lehane Sheehan and her husband Pat will travel up from Cork to speak at the Novena on Monday 25 March. Martina’s latest book is called “Surprised by Fire” - subtitled “Igniting Hope, Healing and Wholeness”. She will speak about the uniqueness of each individual and how when we are in contact with the divine spark within us we can be brought to a happier way of living life to the full. 

Tuesday 26 March is a day given over to the theme of reconciliation. The Cross for the Passionist is the place of healing and forgiveness. There is no sin that cannot be forgiven by God. A team of priests from the Clogher diocese and Passionists from other houses in Ireland will be on hand to facilitate those who wish to go to the sacrament of confessions. 

One of the key themes of the Passionist message is that the Cross continues in the life of people who are suffering today. One of the most hidden suffering that many endure silently is domestic abuse. On Wednesday 27 March, Mary Mc Cann, wife and mother of three children and grandmother of four grandchildren, a native of Fermanagh now living in Belfast will come and talk to us about this issue. Mary has sixteen years of experience in this field.  Mary is now CEO of Fermanagh’s Women’s Aid; one of nine Women’s Aid group working in this area in the North. Last year alone in the Fermanagh district they have worked with 372 women and 364 children who are victims of domestic violence. It is to be noted that the first session on this Wednesday will take place at 11:00 am, because the Sacrament of Anointing takes place at 2:30 pm.

The Reverend Ruth Patterson is no stranger to the Graan. She will be with us on Thursday 27 March.  This will be her third time with us. Ruth was the first woman to be ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1976. However since 1988 she has been the director of Restoration ministries, which is a non-denominational Christian organisation committed to peace and reconciliation in the North. Ruth message will be a challenge to all of us to break down the barriers that prevent us, from seeing each other as brother and sister, even though we may worship in different churches. Her message will be simply a call to faith and to friendship. 

Baroness Nuala O’Loan is a noted public figure, she was the first Police Ombudsman  in the North of Ireland from 1999 to 2007. Nuala is a committed Christian and is an experienced public representative, in many fields of expertise. She will be with us on Friday 28 March.  We live in times of profound changes in our church, in our families and in our world. Nuala will give us a word of hope in these times of societal change.

Soon to be saint, Pope Paul V1 said that “Modern man/women listens more to witnesses than to teachers and if they listens to teachers it is because they are witnesses” Marion Carroll is one such witness. She will be with us on Saturday 30 March. Marion was cured at Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo in September 1989 of multiple sclerosis. She will tell her story of the miraculous healing that came through the intercession of Our Lady. However she has also deep faith in the living presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Marion focus on Our Lady and Jesus in the Eucharist will be the subject of her talk.

On Sunday 31 March a Passionist student from Carnlough, Co. Antrim called Aidan O’ Kane will be with us. Aidan hopefully will make his final vows with the Passionist next year. Aidan is aged 56 and has worked with the Oblates Fathers in Kilburn London for many years with the homeless. Aidan is now living in Mount Argus and is doing training for hospital chaplaincy in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood in a year’s time. He will speak at all the Masses on Sunday. 

The Novena comes to an end on Monday 1 April. The speaker on that day is Denis Bradley. He was the first vice-chairman of the policing board in the North.  Denis worked with Lord Eames of Armagh on a report on the legacy of the troubles. Denis was ordained in 1970 but after leaving the priesthood, he worked as a counsellor establishing two shelters and treatment centres for alcohol and drug addiction in his home city of Derry.  He was formerly a member of the NI Drugs Committee and helped set up the Bogside Community Association. He is regularly columnist for the Irish News. Denis will end the nine days of prayer on a theme of hope, renewal and commitment

The days of prayers for the sick and those in need of healing form part of any novena. Wednesday and the Saturday of the Novena at 2:30 p.m. there will be the anointing of the sick and prayers for healing during a special Mass for their intentions. For many people this has been the highlight of the Novena.

The first session of the Novena on Wednesday 27 March and Saturday 30 March will be a 11:00 am to facilitate the healing Mass at 2:30 pm. 

To cater for the large congregation attending the Novena closed circuit television is available in the adjoining rooms throughout the Graan Monastery and Nursing Home. 

Everyone, whatever their age or religion are welcome to attend.

The Novena leaflets can be downloaded from our website or obtained by writing to The Novena of Hope, The Graan, 73 Derrygonnelly Road, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. BT74 5PB. Enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope, please.

Visit our website at for full details of all our Novena services.  You can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you can call Fr. Charles on 02866322272


Novena Mass Cards are available to purchase:


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