The Novena of Hope kicked off last Saturday with hundreds of people flocking to St, Gabriel's Retreat, The Graan.

The Novena - a nine-day period of prayer - symbolises the resilience of the human spirit in times of hardship, aiming to instil a sense of optimism and courage among the faithful.

A wide range of speakers have spoke at the Graan thus far with Fr. Charles Cross, Superior of the Graan Monastery opening proceedings on Saturday evening and delivering a reflection on Sunday titled Hope is known you belong in your Father's house.

One speaker who generated great interest was Fr. Aidan Troy C.P. who led the Sacrament of Reconciliation which seen a large crowd gather at both sessions on Tuesday.

Fr. Trory has been a Passionist Priest for over 50 years, engaging in Missions and Retreats and serving in Parishes at Holy Cross, Ardoyne, Belfast and St Joseph’s Mission Anglophone, Paris, France.

Other speakers over the Novena have included: Carol Barry and Gerard Gallagher.

Today, Rev. David Latimer, a retired Presbyterian Minister, will speak on Thursday, March 7, about building friendships within different communities.

His work for peace in the city of Derry, as detailed in his memoir, ‘A Leap of Faith: How Martin McGuiness and I Worked Together for Peace’, makes him a respected voice in the dialogue on reconciliation and community-building.

Don Mullan, a humanitarian, author, and filmmaker, will speak on the beauty of our planet on Friday, March 8.

His work with the United Nations and his advocacy for environmental causes highlight the importance of stewardship and sustainability in today's world.

The bestselling author, filmmaker, concept developer and humanitarian's book, 'Eyewitness Bloody Sunday' (1997), was a primary catalyst for the second Bloody Sunday Public Inquiry - a tragedy he witnessed as a schoolboy.

John Pridmore, a former London East End gangster turned Christian missionary, will speak on all Novena services on March 9 and 10.

His personal journey from a life of crime to one of faith and service is a powerful testament to the transformative power of hope and redemption.

The Novena will conclude on Sunday, March 10, with a talk by Gerry Farrell, a psychotherapist and dramatist from Sligo.

His work in mental health and his exploration of psychological themes in his plays add a unique perspective to the Novena's theme of hope and healing.

The Days of the Sick will take place on Saturday afternoons of the Novena at 2.30pm, to faciliate this, the first session on Saturday will be at 11am.