This Pentecost Sunday we should have made the journey to Echternach for our second Diocesan Pilgrimage to participate in the annual Hopping Procession in honour of St Willibrord. We were very honoured in 2017 to be gifted a reliquary of St Willibrord who studied at Rath Melsigi and was ordained in Old Leighlin. It was a joy for us to travel to Echternach in 2017 and we very much looked forward to travelling this year, but sadly because of Covid 19, like so much of our plans, it will not come to fruition at this time. The relic which is on permanent display here in the Cathedral was presented to Bishop Denis on Monday June 5th 2017. Our devotion to St Willibrord is part of a wider ecumenical heritage which we share with our friends from the Church of Ireland. Fond memories remain of the walk with Willibrord in June 2017 linking the Cathedral at Old Leighlin and the Cathedral here in Carlow. St Willibrord is the Patron Saint of Luxembourg and is buried in the Basilica in Echternach. While we went as pilgrims in 2017 the late Fr John Cummins led a reconaissance mission a year earlier to ensure our pilgrimage went without a hitch. It is interesting to note that the first pilgrimage from these parts to Echternach began in 690AD when Willibrord led a mission from Carlow to Echternach. The videos below will bring back happy memories for many and we remember Fr John through these also.
Bishop Denis will celebrate mass at 10am in the Cathedral on Tuesday June 2nd(the day of the Hopping Procession), please join with him through the webcam to remember St Willibrord. The Procession takes place annually on the Tuesday after Pentecost Sunday. In 2017 the Carlow group were proudly led by the Presentation School Band, we were numbered 44 in the procession that year on the wettest day ever for the Hopping Procession. We brought irish weather to Luxembourg. Huge credit must go to Dermot Mulligan and the team at Carlow County Museum for the superb exhibition they hosted on Willibrord in recent times.