Midnight Mass to be televised live from Mountjoy prison


The social reform campaigner Father Peter McVerry SJ will deliver the sermon at tonight's televised Midnight Mass, which this year is being transmitted live from the new Mountjoy Women's Prison, Dublin.

Some 80 women prisoners have prepared music, props and artwork for the hour-long ceremony, which begins at 11 p.m. and will be broadcast live on RTÉ 1.

The celebrant will be Father Michael Shiels, a chaplain at Mountjoy, which hosted the annual telecast four years ago. The Mass on that occasion was celebrated on a 11-foot-wide corridor between the cells. On this occasion, it will be held in the newly-built Dóchas Centre, a village-style complex for prisoners.

Meanwhile, at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, the Archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Desmond Connell, will act as principal celebrant tonight at the Mass of Christmas Night at 10 p.m.

Cardinal Connell will also celebrate the Mass of Christmas Day tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Dublin Auxiliary Bishop Eamonn Walsh, who is acting as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Ferns, will celebrate Mass this evening in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. He will also celebrate Mass in Mountjoy Men's Prison, Dublin, tomorrow morning.

Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Field will celebrate Mass in the Parish of the Assumption, Ballyfermot, Dublin, tonight at 9 p.m., and at Cherry Orchard Parish Church tomorrow at noon.

In the Archdiocese of Armagh, midnight Mass takes place at St Malachy's Church, Armagh. St Patrick's Cathedral is closed for restoration.

Christmas Day Mass at 11.30 a.m. at St Patrick's Church, Dundalk, will be celebrated by the Most Rev Gerard Clifford, Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh.

In the Diocese of Cloyne, Bishop John Magee will celebrate Midnight Mass at St Colman's Cathedral.

In Derry, Bishop Seamus Hegarty will officiate at Midnight Mass at St Eugene's Cathedral.

In the Diocese of Elphin, tonight's Vigil Mass takes place at 10 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

In Galway, Bishop James McLoughlin will celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas tonight at 10 p.m.

In Kerry, Bishop Bill Murphy will act as celebrant as Midnight Mass at St Mary's Cathedral, Killarney.

In the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, a carol service takes place at 11 p.m. tonight at St Michael's Church, Portarlington.

In the Diocese of Killala, Bishop John Fleming will celebrate tonight's 10.30 p.m. Vigil Mass at St Muredach's Cathedral, and tomorrow's 11.15 a.m. Mass at St Patrick's Church, Ballina.

In Limerick, Bishop Donal Murray will be participating in the Vigil Mass at St. John's Cathedral tonight at 7.30pm and again tomorrow at 11.00am.

In Meath, Bishop Michael Smith will celebrate Mass tonight at 10 p.m. at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar, and tomorrow at 10.30 a.m. at St Mary's Church, Navan.

In the Diocese of Ossory, the Most Rev Laurence Forristal, Bishop of Ossory, will celebrate Midnight Mass tonight at St Mary's Cathedral, Kilkenny. He will also celebrate 11 a.m. Mass tomorrow at Hugginstown Church, Co Kilkenny, a ceremony which will be broadcast live on Radio Kilkenny.

In the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore, the Mass of the Nativity will be celebrated by Bishop Lee tonight at 9 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity.

In the Church of Ireland, Archbishop Robin Eames will deliver a Christmas Sermon at St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, at 11 a.m. tomorrow. The Rev John Robert Winder Neill, Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough, will address a Christmas ceremony at Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin at 11 a.m.

At Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Dean Robert MacCarthy is to address the Festival Eucharist at 11.15 a.m.

Full details of services at: www.catholiccommunications.ie, www.dublin.anglican.org, www.presbyterianireland.org, and www.irishmethodist.org.