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09 Dec 2021

Long Tower nine-week Novena begins this Sunday

Martina Purdy will be one of the guest speakers at the 2021 annual Novena

Long Tower nine-week Novena begins this Sunday

Fr Paddy Baker will be joined by Martina Purdy who will speak at the Long Tower Novena.

Former BBC political correspondent and nun Martina Purdy will be one of the guest speakers at the 2021 annual Novena which begins in St Columba's Church, Long Tower, this Sunday, October 24 at 6.00pm.

Running for nine Sundays in the lead up to Christmas, the Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help will have the theme of ‘The Sacred Gifts of Hope and Joy in a Time of Darkness.’

Newly-appointed administrator of St Columba’s Church, Father Paddy Baker, will be the speaker on the first night of the Novena on Sunday.

Father Paddy, who is a native of the parish, said: “I’m delighted to be one of the speakers at the annual Novena in my home parish of St Columba’s Long Tower. I would encourage as many people as possible to come along or watch online as we come together as a community in preparation for Christmas.

“Each night will comprise of the Rosary, Novena prayer and petitions, followed by a talk given by various guest speakers and ceremony of healing with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

“I’d like to thank all of our guests who have volunteered their time to be with us and we look forward to a happy and successful Novena, after what has been a challenging year for everyone.”

Joining Father Paddy will be former nun Martina Purdy who will speak on November 7.

Martina, who previously worked for the BBC, spent five years with the Sisters of the Adoration community training as a nun.

She is now a lay member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Down- patrick and has taken up a marketing role with the St Patrick Heritage Centre in Downpatrick.

Other speakers include Father Michael McGoldrick on October 31 (the Novena on this date will be at 3.00pm); Myra Gormley of Buncrana on November 14; Kieran Griffiths, director of the Playhouse on November 21; Martina Davidson, head of RE (Religious Education) at St Cecilia’s College on Novem- ber 28; Jesuit priest Brendan McManus on December 5; and Father Michael Donnelly on December 12.

The Novena will conclude with a Carol Service on December 19.

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