Knock Novena gets underway on Wednesday

Posted in Connect on August 13, 2019.


THE annual National Novena in Knock, which gets underway on Wednesday, August 14, is expected to attract well in excess of 100,000 people to the Mayo village. This year marks the 140th anniversary of the Apparition at Knock and the overall theme for the Novena is ‘Continuing Our Journey’. The daily ceremonies are at 3pm and 8pm.

Among the highlights will be the special day of celebrations arranged for Wednesday, August 21, the anniversary date of the Apparition of 1879. Archbishop Michael Neary will preside at the unveiling of the Knock Village Model 12 noon in Knock Museum. This is a unique and historic model of Knock Village as it was in 1879. The village recreation is filled with miniature details of the Old Church, the houses the Witnesses lived in, schools, people, animals, roads, pathways and farmland. It offers a fascinating insight into village life in Knock and into the historical and social context of the Knock Apparition The unveiling of the New Processional Statue of Our Lady of Knock, which has been carved by Stuflesser Ortesei in Italy, will take place at 3pm Mass the same day.
John Bruton from Meath, the former Taoiseach, is the guest speaker at the opening day of the Knock Novena on Wednesday.

The theme of his address will be ‘Faith, Future and Europe’. Archbishop Rino Fisichella of Voghenza, Italy, who also served as an Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University and in various curial positions, is the speaker on Thursday, August 15. Olive Foley, wife of the late Anthony Foley, the Munster Rugby coach and renowned player who died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 42 in 2016, will address the Novena sessions on Friday, August 16. Olive is an ambassador for the Children’s Grief Centre in Limerick which offers support services for children who have lost a loved one. The theme of Olive’s address is ‘Family and Faith’.

There are different speakers at the two Novena sessions on Saturday, August 17. Bishop Alan Mc Guckian, a native of Cloughmills, Co Antrim, has been Bishop of Raphoe since 2017 and he will address the 3pm session. ‘What Knock means to me’ is the subject of his talk on Saturday, August 17 at 3pm. Dr John Feehan will speak at the 8pm Novena on Saturday. He is an Irish geologist, botanist, author and broadcaster. He was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Agriculture and Food Science at UCD where he taught for 20 years up to his retirement in 2012. His book on creation spirituality, ‘The Singing Heart of the World’, won a Nautilus Book Award in 2013.

Sunday has been designated as Family Day at Knock Shrine and there will be a strong family feel and theme to the day  throughout the grounds of Knock Shrine with proceedings getting underway at 12 noon. Activities include drumming, kite design, face painting, games and much more. Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin is the speaker at the 3pm Mass on Sunday. He chairs the Consultative
Group on Bioethics and Life Questions of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.

The speaker at the 8pm ceremonyi s Msgr John Armitage who is the Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England. Carole Coleman, the former Washington correspondent for
RTÉ and currently a presenter and reporter on the This Week programme on RTÉ Radio One, is the speaker on Monday, August 19. Her theme is ‘Motherhood, media and me’. Trevor Sargent, is the guest speaker on Tuesday, August 20. Rev Sargent, who is now a Church of Ireland Minister, was a former leader of the Irish Green Party (2001-2007) and served as Minister of State for Food
and Horticulture from 2007 to 2010. Trevor was ordained in 2018 and serves the parishes of the Waterford Union.

The special 140th anniversary celebrations (as outlined above) take place on Wednesday, August 21, including a seminar at 12 noon entitled ‘19th Century Mayo – Place, people and the Knock Apparition’, and this will be conducted by Nollaig O Muraile and Tom Neary. Fr Peter McVerry, the founder of the Peter McVerry Trust, one of the country’s largest organisations responding to the issue of homelessness, is the guest speaker for the closing day of the Novena on Thursday, August 22. The Novena is being coordinated by Fr Richard Gibbons, PP, and Administrator of Knock
Shrine, and his dedicated team.

Source Michael Commins, The Mayo News, August 13th 2019

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