BY Ryan McDougall | September 20 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

all night vigil st marys

Greenock’s links to St Thérèse revealed

Greenock was at one time home to the late Canon Thomas ­Taylor, founder of Carfin Grotto, who was instrumental in spreading the word of the Little Flower ahead of her ­canonisation.

AROUND 2,000 people ­visited the relics of St Thérèse in Inverclyde’s ­oldest Catholic church last weekend, where some parishioners stayed all night in prayer.

St Mary’s Church, Greenock, has long-standing ties to the ­Little Flower, as the church has its own statue to the saint whose relics have been touring the country since the end of August.

The relics were brought to the parish on Saturday September 14 at 5pm, where they remained until Sunday 15 with the church opened for an all-night vigil.

In that time alone, parish priest Canon Thomas Boyle said around 2,000 people came to the church to see the relics, ­including many of other faiths and none.

“It was a great festival of Faith, really,” Canon Boyle said.

“Local folks, as well as others from places like Largs and Dunoon came to see them.

“Like most parishes we’ve always had a statue to her since she was canonised, and keep roses next to it all year round, and the relics probably won’t be returning to Scotland, ­certainly not in my ­lifetime, so it was a great opportunity for people to take part in something so big.”

St Mary’s was open all night for people to come by and visit the relics, and people from different parishes within the Inverclyde area took turns each hour to keep an eye on them and on the church.

“It really brought the Catholic community and wider ­community together,” Canon Boyle explained.

“The community of Inverclyde is a strong one, everyone expressed interest in the relics’ visit, including people who aren’t Catholics.
“We had lots of people come through the night for the all-night vigil, and some stayed right through!”

Greenock was also home to the late Canon Thomas ­Taylor, founder of Carfin Grotto, who was instrumental in spreading the word of the Little Flower ahead of her canonisation.

Canon Boyle said this ­connection is evident of the town’s special link to the saint.

He said: “Because of Canon Taylor, and because St Mary’s is the mother church of the area, we feel it was very fitting that the church was chosen to host the relics.”

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