The sun shone brightly on Thursday evening as local people came together at the Long Tower Church to celebrate the feast of St. Columba.
The traditional Rosary was recited in Irish at The Calvary, followed by Mass and the procession to and the annual blessing of St. Columb’s Well.
Local children who recently made their First Holy Communion and Confirmation joined in the procession wearing their special clothes.
Speaking during the Mass the Bishop of Derry, Dr. Donal McKeown, said the fact that the name Columba permeates the life of this city is a recognition of the value of the message he left in his life.
In more recent years, the dove of peace has encouraged many to take initiatives for healing and reconciliation locally and further afield. For all that we are grateful.
“He might ask us today in this city and diocese whether we are known for being generous and courageous to a fault,” he said.
“Are we prepared to take risks and to risk mockery for the sake of the Gospel? He might gently probe and inquire whether we put as much energy into preaching the Gospel as we do to looking after premises.
“Columba chose a very difficult life, a road less travelled, even in his day. Our celebration of our Patron Saint is not just a look at the past but a grateful celebration of how he faced the future. We are a Eucharistic people – so, today we give thanks and ask the Lord to be our food for the journey, wherever it may lead us.”