05 Jul 2022

Appeal for priests to assist in this year’s Croagh Patrick Pilgrimage season

The Reek Sunday pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick may well have been postponed last weekend. However, Longford man Willie Healy was among those who completed the climb.

Priests are asked to climb the mountain and hear confessions

Priests are asked to help out by climbing the mountain and hearing confessions

The Annual National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick or ‘Reek Sunday’ has been extended to incorporate the whole month of July. Those who wish to fulfil the ‘Reek Sunday’ obligations can do so from Wednesday to Saturday each week during July.

To this end a greater number of priests are needed to climb the Reek on one or more of the pilgrimage dates in July in order to hear Confessions and celebrate Mass on the summit. Organisers aim to have two priests on the summit on any given day. Any priest making the pilgrimage will have accommodation and breakfast provided for them in Westport the night before they climb should they require it.

Commenting on the preparations for Reek Sunday, Father Charlie McDonnell said, “Pilgrimage has always been a strong vehicle for both petition and thanksgiving and, in 2021, above any year, we are delighted to offer and extended Reek Pilgrimage acknowledging and giving thanks for the fact that we journey very much under the protective hand of God.

“Each year, while all of the spiritual benefits of the Croagh Patrick pilgrimage have been available to pilgrims from June to September, up to now the Sacraments have only been available on Reek Sunday. This year, due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, it would be impossible to facilitate the pilgrimage on one day only so I am arranging to greatly extend provision of the Sacraments for pilgrims throughout the month of July. It is my dear hope that this unprecedented and adventurous undertaking will provide all those who wish to come to Ireland’s Holy Mountain as pilgrims to do so safely and in their own time.

“For generations, the annual Croagh Patrick Pilgrimage has held a central place in the life of the Church in Ireland and I am delighted that an extended version will be available next month. Reek Pilgrimage 2021 is an exciting and ambitious project to undertake and will require great generosity on the part of lay volunteers and priests alike. It is wonderful to be in a position to go ahead under very clear health management guidelines and I encourage all pilgrims to enter into it in a way that makes it a success for all involved.”

Beginning Thursday, 1 July and ending Saturday, 31 July, the pilgrimage times and dates are as follows:

Wednesday to Friday:

Confessions before Mass from 11 to 11:45am

Mass at 12 noon

Confessions after Mass from 12:45 to 1:15pm

Saturday: ​​

Mass at 10am

Confessions after Mass from 10:45 to 11:30am

Archbishop Michael Neary will celebrate Mass at 6.30pm on 24 July, in Saint Mary’s Church, Westport.

Priests interested in assisting with this year’s pilgrimage season can contact Father Charlie McDonnell by email at

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