Speakers announced for Knock Novena in August

Posted in Connect on July 9, 2019.


140th anniversary of Knock apparition to be celebrated

Former  Taoiseach John Bruton will be the guest speaker at the opening day of the Knock Novena on Wednesday, August 14. The theme of his address will be ‘Faith, Future and Europe’.
This year marks the 140th anniversary of the Apparition at Knock and the overall theme for the Novena is ‘Continuing Our Journey’. Another former member of Dáil Éireann, 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.

Carole Coleman, the former Washington correspondent for RTÉ and currently a presenter and reporter the This Week programme on RTÉ Radio One, is the speaker on Monday, August 19. Her theme is ‘Motherhood, media and me’. 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’. 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 August 15.

Bishop Alan Mc Guckian, a  native of Cloughmills, Co Antrim, has been Bishop of Raphoe since 2017. As a Jesuit priest, he worked in communications for many years. ‘What Knock means to me’ is the subject of his talk on Saturday 17 at 3pm. Dr John Feehan will speak at the 8pm Novena on Saturday, August 17. 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 twenty 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. Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin is the speaker at the 3pm Mass on Sunday, August 18. He chairs the Consultative Group on Bioethics and Life Questions of
the Irish Bishops’ Conference. The speaker at the 8pm ceremony is Msgr John Armitage who is the Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England.

Celebrations to mark the 140th anniversary of the Apparition will be held on Wednesday, August 21 and will be led by Most Rev Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam. He will be the main celebrant at the ceremonies. Earlier in the day at 12 noon, a seminar will be held entitled ‘19th Century Mayo – Place, people and the Knock Apparition’, and this will be conducted by Nollaig O Muraile and Tom Neary. The unveiling of the Knock Village Model will take place at the seminar at 12 noon. 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 August 22. In 2017 the charity worked with over 4,900 vulnerable youths. The Novena ceremonies are twice daily at 3pm and 8pm and there are also various workshops held throughout the day during the Novena.

Michael Commins, The Mayo News, July 9th

 

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