Renew Our Hearts - Down & Connor Diocesan Novena to The Sacred Heart

As Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ begins his time as bishop of the diocese he would love everyone in the diocese to join him in nine days of prayer, asking Jesus to give us a new heart. Many people among us are weary or wounded, hurting in one way or another. He wants us to make a novena for each other, aware that we are brothers and sisters in Christ.

The prayers will be available in a booklet you can pick up at Mass or read online; it will also include a piece of scripture and a reflection for each day for those who wish to go a little deeper. Bishop Alan’s hope is that this novena will be prayed either individually or together by parishes, groups, schools or families.

Even young children can join in with the short prayers!

Pilgrims of Hope: A Year of Ignatian Prayer

Beginning September 2024

Pilgrims of Hope: A Year of Ignatian Prayer is an innovative programme, pioneered by the Belfast Jesuit Centre, as a preparation for living out Pope Francis’s Jubilee Year 2025.

Broadly following the text of Austen Ivereigh’s book First Belong to God: On Retreat with Pope Francis, the programme will be an introduction to Ignatian Spirituality, with the insights of Pope Francis, through his major publications.

Participants will learn the discipline, practice and experience of Ignatian prayer, which is rooted in a deep personal relationship with God, discernment, finding God in all things and active participation in the world.

Participants will commit to personal prayer and will be supported by members of the Jesuit team and by their fellow ‘pilgrims’, through mutual encouragement and spiritual conversation in small groups.

The term “Ignatian” refers to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish nobleman of the 1500s, whose personal, spiritual journey compelled him to help souls to find God in the ordinary everyday circumstances of their lives. He distilled this wisdom into the Spiritual Exercises, which have helped people to draw nearer to God for hundreds of years. He founded the Society of Jesus, or “The Jesuits”, whose members work with lay partners worldwide, for the greater glory of God. As a Jesuit himself, Pope Francis was formed in, and remains steeped in this Ignatian tradition.

If you would like to deepen your relationship with God, this programme would be the perfect place begin, or continue, your pilgrim journey.