The Diocese of Kerry will celebrate The Gathering 2013 with an open air Mass in the historic Ardfert Cathedral. The prelude and Mass will be broadcast live on the internet throughout the world on The Gathering TV Channel.
St. Brendan the Navigator (484-577 AD) was born in nearby Fenit and the 13th century medieval Cathedral at Ardfert, now a National Monument site, was built on his 6th century monastic foundation.
Brendan is one of Ireland’s best known Early Christian missionaries who travelled extensively in Ireland and Western Europe. During one of his many overseas voyages Brendan is reputed to have discovered North America, the account of which is detailed in the Early Medieval manuscript called The Navigatio which circulated widely in Europe.
The Principal Concelebrant of the St. Brendan’s Day Mass will be the Bishop of Kerry, Most Rev. Dr. William Murphy. The Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe, Rt. Rev. Trevor Williams will read the First Lesson. Fr. Pat Ahern, founding artistic director of Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, will direct singers and musicians from “Siamsóirí na Ríochta” in their first performance of his composition of ‘Aifreann Na nDaoine’ (Mass of the People) during the ceremony.
The television broadcast is an initiative of the Kerry Gathering Steering Committee and the Ardfert Development Association in conjunction with the FAS TV and Media Centre, Tralee and Kerry Broadband. Fr. Dermod McCarthy, former director of Religious Affairs at RTE, will present the programme and it will be produced by Brian Nolan of FAS and directed by Theo O’Grady. The Mass is being facilitated by the Office of Public Works who manage the site on behalf of the State.
Transmission from Ardfert will commence at 19:50 GMT with a short video on Ardfert and its association with St. Brendan. Children from the local schools, dressed as monks, will participate in the ceremony as will members of the Ardfert Community and Professor Joseph Nagy, Los Angeles, one the world’s leading Early Christian scholars.
St. Brendan is one of the 12 Apostles of Ireland, patron of the dioceses of Kerry and Clonfert, Co. Galway and his feast day on May 16 is celebrated by the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions.
For more information information visit The Gathering Channel.