St. Oliver Plunkett2

Relics of St. Oliver Plunkett will visit the Conaty Chapel of the Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Cavan on Tuesday 25 June 2024.

St Oliver Plunkett was born at Loughcrew, near Oldcastle in Co. Meath on 1 November 1625. Having studied at the Irish College in Rome, he was ordained a priest in 1654 and became Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland in 1657. He maintained his duties in Ireland in the face of English persecution, reorganising the ravaged Irish Church, but was eventually arrested and tried for treason in London. Having being found guilty of high treason on perjured evidence, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 1 July 1681, and became the last Roman Catholic martyr to die in England. Oliver Plunkett was beatified in 1920 and canonised in 1975 by Pope Saint Paul VI, the first new Irish saint for almost seven hundred years. 

The relics will arrive at the Centre for a Liturgical Welcome celebrated by Bishop Martin Hayes at 10:00a.m. and will be available for veneration until 10:00p.m. that evening.

Newly-ordained Fr Jordan Mac Gabhann will be the celebrant of Mass at 1:15p.m.  Fr Thomas Small, CC Cavan, will celebrate the 5:45p.m. Mass which will be offered for the deceased members of the Knights of Saint Columbanus from the Diocese of Kilmore.

Bishop Martin Hayes will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the 8:00p.m. Mass . The music for this Mass will be provided by the Ballinamore Folk Choir, Co. Leitrim.

There will also be opportunities to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the course of the day from 12 noon to 1:00p.m.; 4:30p.m. to 5:30p.m.; and 6:30p.m. to 7:30p.m.

Commenting on the forthcoming visit of the relics to the Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Seán Coll (Centre Director) said, “This will be the ninth time for the Centre to host relics of St. Oliver Plunkett over the past decade. Unfortunately, we were unable to host the relics in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. So, it will be a very special day for us here in the Centre as we greet the relics once again and welcome people who come and seek the intercession of St. Oliver Plunkett for one reason or another.  For some, it is an opportunity to ask St. Oliver’s intercession as they face a particular difficulty or issue in their lives.  For example, it may be health-related, financial or housing problems, difficulties in the family circle or relationship issues, looking for suitable employment and the like.  Others may wish to pray for those undertaking important examinations around this time or are doing exams themselves.  Some or someone close to them may be facing a crossroads in their lives of one kind or another.  Every person will have their own story and their own needs.  It is also a chance for people to thank the saint for his intercession in the past when their prayers were answered and to ask for his continuing help.” 

The Catholic Church categorises relics from saints in three: first, second and third class. Body parts such as blood, bones or even ashes of a saint fall under the first category. Clothing worn by the saint, such as liturgical vestments, are considered second class, and personal possessions third.

Catholics venerate the remains of a saint as an expression of reverence for their holiness of life, and to seek the saint’s intercession for spiritual aid, healing, and particular graces.

All are welcome for this very special event which is being organised by the Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Centre with the assistance of the local Knights of Saint Columbanus.

Petitions/Offerings may be sent to the Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Centre, The Conaty Centre, Cullies, Cavan H12 E5C7.  All petitions received will be placed beside the relic during its visit.  Please write “St. Oliver” on the top left hand corner of the envelope.

For further information, please ring the Centre on 049 4375004 or email pastoralcentre@kilmorediocese.ie .