Following the Easter Octave this year, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Ireland launched a very special campaign inviting priests in each of the 26 dioceses of Ireland, to celebrate the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, at a Mass Rock located in their Diocese. The intention of each of these 26 Mass Rock Masses was for ‘the renewal of the faith in Ireland through the intercession of the Irish Martyrs’.
Priests in each of the 26 dioceses returned to these secluded and sacred places of historical worship where once countless Irish Martyrs and their companions risked their lives to receive and celebrate the Most Holy Eucharist.
Between 1534 -1714, millions of ordinary Irish men, women & children living in difficult times such as poverty, famine and enduring many horrific hardships as a result of anti-Catholic persecution, under the penal laws.
The settings for the Mass Rocks were wide and varied and yet all stunningly and uniquely beautiful; whether it be in a furry glen, on a bare rugged coastline, on a still, serene mountaintop, in a grassy green field covered in fresh dew or under a canopy of pine trees, with the soothing sounds of a gentle stream nearby… each Mass Rock had one thing in common i.e. it was found in a sacred wilderness and in a place of great serenity and closeness to God.
Monsignor Tommy Johnston reflects on his experience having celebrated 1 of the 26 Mass Rock Masses, organised by ACN Ireland, on Mass Hill, a very picturesque area in the Ox Mountains in the parish of Tubbercurry, the diocese of Achonry:
“The Mass Rock there is a huge boulder with an uneven surface offering no indication that it could possibly be used for such a sacred purpose, perhaps that is why it was chosen. It did not warrant a second glance. It was above suspicion. Its location nestled on the hillside provided a clear commanding view of the surrounding area, so, lookouts, at the first hints of danger could easily alert those gathered for Mass.
It was a unique privilege to stand at a place made sacred by our ancestors who had stood there all those years ago giving voice to their faith in presence and prayer conscious of the ever-present danger to life and livelihood.”
ACN Ireland would like to express their most sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all the priests who participated in the Holy Sacrament of the Mass at one of the 26 Mass Rocks: the places where Eternal Life was offered for those who regularly risked their temporal life to receive JESUS.
ACN Ireland invite you to join them in praying for the renewal of the faith in Ireland through the intercession of the Irish Martyrs.
Please support & spread the good news of the ACN Ireland Mass Rock Campaign, informing souls of their greatest gift in the Eucharist which, only gives life, love, grace, protection & salvation.
For further information on the ACN Ireland Mass Rock Campaign or see details of all the Mass Rock Masses, please visit www.acnireland.org/mass-rocks To purchase a copy of ‘Our Martyrs’ book please visit www.acnireland.org/shop
For further information on the work of Aid to the Church in Need Ireland or to make a donation, please visit www.acnireland.org or Tel: +353 (0) 837 7516.