Bishop Fintan Monahan has urged all road users to take extra care this October bank holiday weekend.
After 12.00pm Mass on Sunday, Bishop Monahan will lead a ‘Blessing of the Roads’ ceremony in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Ennis, Co Clare, and offer prayers for the safety of all road users. Bishop Monahan has invited parishes in the Diocese of Killaloe to join with him in prayers over the weekend.
Bishop Monahan said: “Statistics indicate that bank holiday weekends can be high risk times on our roads. I am aware that many county councils and civic groups and especially the Road Safety Authority, work very hard to promote safety on the roads. But the reality is that we all share this responsibility to protect human life on our roads.
“Up to this morning, 125 people have died this year on roads across the State. While the trend is down from the 160 deaths this time last year, it is still 125 too many. This loss of human life is heart-breaking for the loved ones of the deceased and a tragedy for our society as a whole.
Road safety awareness is the parable of the Good Samaritan in action within our communities today. I am thinking here of all road users: motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, and every one of us has a role in helping others even if we are not known to each other personally,” he added.
Bishop Monahan continued: “After 12.00pm Mass this Sunday in Ennis I shall take part in a ‘Blessing of the Roads’ ceremony. I am also inviting parishes across the diocese to pray for those who have lost their lives in tragic circumstances, and also to pray for the safety of all road users.
“I firmly believe that prayer and reflection can change our driving behaviour, calm our aggression, and remind us to take care of our spiritual, moral and physical dimensions. In this context I recommend the following dedicated prayers for motorists which can be said before driving.”
A contemporary prayer in the English language
Holy Mother, hear our prayer,
Keep us in your loving care,
Whatever the perils of the way,
Let us not add to them this day.
So to our caution and attention,
We add a prayer for your protection,
To beg God’s blessing on this car,
To travel safely near and far.