• 25 January 2023

Archbishop Laurent to join us for St Patrick’s Day

We’re delighted to announce that the special guest at this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Down Cathedral will be The Most Revd Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop of Rwanda.

Our theme is ‘Reconciliation’, a topic familiar to Archbishop Laurent who has been at the forefront of helping many in Rwanda deal with the impact and aftermath of the 1994 genocide.

Bishop David says: “I have asked Archbishop Laurent to help us to look together at how we can deal with some of the pain that continues to be part of life and living for many of us because of what we call ‘The Troubles’. All of us have a responsibility to continue to support, understand and pray for those who have been impacted by loss and trauma and I hope that this special day of worship and prayer will be a source of healing for many.”

The archbishop was himself a child refugee from the ethnic tensions that erupted into organised massacres in Rwanda in 1959. He fled to Burundi with his mother at the age of five and has written about his experiences in From Barefoot to Bishop: A Rwandan Refugee’s Journey.

Celebrations

Our celebrations on Friday 17 March will begin with Holy Communion at Saul and the Prayer Pilgrimage to the Cathedral for the Festival Service at 11.45am. 

Programme

9.15am Holy Communion at Saul
Preacher: The Very Revd Henry Hull, Dean of Down

10.15am Pilgrimage from Saul to Downpatrick

11.45am Festival Service in Down Cathedral
Preacher: The Most Revd Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop of Rwanda 

1.00pm Wreath laying ceremony at St Patrick’s Grave 

1.15 pm Complimentary ‘Picnic in the Pews’ 

Transport to Saul

From 8.15 am private buses will leave from the Mall for the communion service and pilgrimage.

The last bus for the communion service leaves at 8.45 am.

The last bus for the pilgrimage leaves at 9.45 am.

The last bus from Saul to the Cathedral leaves at 10.40 am.