National Dawn Walk for Cancer 2015

Some words from Bishop Denis Nulty at the National Dawn Walk for Cancer

I am truly delighted to be associated with this very ambitious dawn challenge to honour those who battle or have battled cancer on a day to day basis. Today, August 22nd is the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary and isn’t it so often our faith, our at times very battered and bruised faith that supports us in our cancer journey. From the last verse in Matthews gospel of this day we read: “the greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted”. There is nothing more humbling than the news of a cancer diagnosis. Climbing Mount Leinster, travelling around it to Myshall – cancer for many of you is climbing that personal mountain.

Its great that we have come out in huge numbers this morning to support the Irish Cancer Society. They do great work supporting 30,000 people diagnosed every year with cancer. Its so wonderful to have Elma Walsh with us this morning, I think of the message on Donal’s Mortuary Card: “I’ve climbed God’s Mountain”. Its great to have Olivia O’Leary with us, a proud past pupil of St. Leo’s in Carlow, a wordsmith who expresses language beautifully, sometimes in the face of cancer or losing someone we love through cancer, words seem most inadequate. In our scripture so often it was on the mountain the Lord spoke loudest to his people and perhaps he speaks loudest to all of us this Saturday morning as we conclude our Mount Leinster walk.

Our faith whether its devotion to St. Perigrine, who reputedly was cured of his cancer … “St. Perigrine, pray for us” … or maybe its our love for Our Lady … “Take my hand, O Blessed Mother, hold it firmly lest I fall, I am nervous when I’m walking, so to thee I humbly call” … or just simply reflective poetry, I think of Francis Ledwidge: “He will not come and still I wait, he whistles at another gate, where angels listen”. May those we walk with, may those we’ve carried on this dawn journey, may those we remember be especially blessed this Saturday morning.

The National Dawn Walk for Cancer 2015:

I am truly delighted to be associated with this very ambitious dawn challenge to honour those who battle or have battled cancer on a day to day basis. Today, August 22nd is the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary and isn’t it so often our faith, our at times very battered and bruised faith that supports us in our cancer journey. From the last verse in Matthews gospel of this day we read: “the greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted”. There is nothing more humbling than the news of a cancer diagnosis. Climbing Mount Leinster, travelling around it to Myshall – cancer for many of you is climbing that personal mountain.

Its great that we have come out in huge numbers this morning to support the Irish Cancer Society. They do great work supporting 30,000 people diagnosed every year with cancer. Its so wonderful to have Elma Walsh with us this morning, I think of the message on Donal’s Mortuary Card: “I’ve climbed God’s Mountain”. Its great to have Olivia O’Leary with us, a proud past pupil of St. Leo’s in Carlow, a wordsmith who expresses language beautifully, sometimes in the face of cancer or losing someone we love through cancer, words seem most inadequate. In our scripture so often it was on the mountain the Lord spoke loudest to his people and perhaps he speaks loudest to all of us this Saturday morning as we conclude our Mount Leinster walk.

Our faith whether its devotion to St. Perigrine, who reputedly was cured of his cancer … “St. Perigrine, pray for us” … or maybe its our love for Our Lady … “Take my hand, O Blessed Mother, hold it firmly lest I fall, I am nervous when I’m walking, so to thee I humbly call” … or just simply reflective poetry, I think of Francis Ledwidge: “He will not come and still I wait, he whistles at another gate, where angels listen”. May those we walk with, may those we’ve carried on this dawn journey, may those we remember be especially blessed this Saturday morning.

Ends

About the Walk

The National Dawn Walk for Cancer is a new nationwide initiative which seeks to honour all of those who battle or who have battled cancer on a day to day basis, by means of a dawn challenge on Mount Leinster. It goes without saying that there are few houses in Ireland fortunate enough to have gone unvisited by cancer’s lingering spectre. While it is beyond the power of any one man or woman to banish this shade forever, together as a national community, we can bring to the fore the memory of all those who have suffered from this disease and raise much needed funds and awareness that may ultimately contribute to its eradication.

The walk has a unique significance. Just as Donal Walsh referred to his struggle with cancer as ‘a mountain’, it is crucial that we remember just what this climb is intended to symbolise: in scaling the face of Mount Leinster, we are invited to empathise with the pain experienced by cancer-sufferers on a daily basis, as they grapple with their own personal mountains.

The walk took place on the 22nd of August at 5.45am and took participants on a 10km journey over Mount Leinster, from The Nine Stones to the picturesque village of Myshall, Co Carlow.

Well done to all who took part !