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Healing Stone to Have Permanent Home in Lough Derg

Symbol Inscribed with Prayer for Survivors of Abuse Featured in Eucharistic Congress

By Junno Arocho

DUBLIN, Ireland, JUNE 15, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Healing Stone unveiled as part of the Opening Ceremony of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress will move to a permanent home at the ancient sanctuary of St. Patrick’s Purgatory at Lough Derg in County Donegal.

Father Kevin Doran, secretary-general of IEC2012, announced details of the Healing Stone’s permanent location at a press conference in Dublin today.

He said: “After considering various options, Lough Derg seems to be particularly appropriate because of the penitential history of the location and because of the pilgrimage there of the papal legate, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, which binds the congress very closely to the Lough Derg.

“We are grateful to the Bishop of Clougher, Liam McDaid, and the Prior of Lough Derg, Fr. Richard Mohan for their support.”

Lough Derg’s Station Island, the location of the pilgrimage, is often referred to as Saint Patrick’s Purgatory. It is a special sanctuary of peace and personal challenge. This small lake-island, renowned in Irish Christian tradition since the time of St. Patrick, has been receiving pilgrims continuously for well over 1,000 years.

The Healing Stone is a large piece of shape Wicklow granite inscribed with the words of a prayer composed by a survivor of clerical abuse. The prayer was originally featured in the Liturgy of Lament celebrated in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral in 2011.

Work on the Healing Stone project began in early 2012. Following consultation with various people, including abuse survivors, it was agreed that the stone would be an appropriate symbol for the congress.

Cardinal Ouellet undertook a penitential pilgrimage to Lough Derg earlier this week and while there held a two-hour meeting with a representative group of survivors of child abuse in the Church.

Cardinal Ouellet was accompanied on his visit to Lough Derg by Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown and the Bishop of Clogher, Bishop Liam McDaid; they stayed overnight on the island during which time they fasted and participated in other penitential exercises with the pilgrims on the island. 

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