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Ploughing Championships 2023

Visitors to Kildare and Leighlin Dioceses’ Stand 326 at the National Ploughing Championships 2023 in Ratheniska, County Laois will be asked to name their favourite saint.

The question is being asked by Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin in whose diocese the 3-day Ploughing Championships will be held. ‘I expect that people will name saints from all over the world, saints they pray to daily or in times of trouble, the saint whose name they chose at Confirmation or perhaps, the saint associated with their locality,’ he said.

Bishop Denis went on to say that that he thought it would be ‘fascinating to discover Ireland’s most loved saint. Ireland was once known as the isle of saints and scholars. Kildare & Leighlin has links to many saints such as Conleth, Abban, Fiacc, Laserian, Columbanus, Willibrord and of course Brigid. But every county and indeed every country has its own saints. I look forward to seeing how many different saints will be nominated and which one will be the favourite.’

The quest to discover our favourite saint comes in the year when the country’s newest bank holiday, St. Brigid’s Day, was first celebrated.

During previous Ploughing Championships, the diocese held competitions to find Ireland’s favourite poem, prayer, and hymn. This year, visitors to Stand 326  will be asked to nominate their favourite saint and the favourite will be decided by a vote on Day 3.

Since April, a year-long campaign has been underway to promote discussion in families, parishes, and schools encouraging vocations to the diocesan priesthood. Kildare & Leighlin are delighted to welcome representatives from the National Office for Vocations to Stand 326 to further promote and encourage this discussion.

There will be a photographic display of some of the highlights of how faith is lived and celebrated in the Diocese.

Visitors to the stand will be invited to help re-create St. Brigid’s Cloak and they will also see the traditional St. Brigid’s crosses being made.

The very popular packets of blessed salt will be available once again. The salt can then be  spread on gardens and farms – a traditional practice in many areas of the country.

Those who would like a few moments away from the hustle of the crowds can join a meditation session or a period of quiet reflection in a special Prayer Space, pin their intentions on the Prayer Wall or enjoy a cup of tea/coffee, a biscuit and a chat. There will also be live music with some well known singers and groups dropping in to share their talent.

For More Information Media can Contact

Maeve Mahon 087 2373336                     [email protected]

Fr David Vard                      [email protected]