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Knock Novena attracts many thousands

Knock Novena attracts many thousands

Michael Commins

MANY thousands of people are attending the annual Knock Novena which got under way last Sunday. It is expected that in the region of 100,000 will visit the village between today (Tuesday) and the close of the Novena next Monday night.
The inclement weather conditions yesterday (Monday) did not deter the crowds from making the journey to Knock Shrine. A few hundred people walked through the night to be present for the 6am Mass on the morning of 15th. It is an old tradition, stretching back over the decades, to walk to Knock on what is referred to locally as the “14th night”. The tradition is best maintained by people in the West Roscommon region.
Well known singer Michael English from Kildare was the guest soloist at the afternoon ceremony in Knock Basilica on Monday.
The address at today’s (Tuesday) ceremonies will be delivered by the well-known journalist and social commentator, Mary Kenny. Her weekly column in the Saturday issue of the Irish Independent is read by thousands each week while she also contributes to a number of the major UK publications.
Castlerea native and Irish Times columnist John Waters is the guest speaker tomorrow, Wednesday. One of the more challenging writers in the Irish media in current times, John is a much respected commentator on matters relating to various aspects of Irish society today. This is his first time to address the Knock Novena.
Clare native Rev Harry Bohan is the guest speaker on Thursday. He is a noted campaigner for rural development and issues relating to many aspects of life in Ireland. Rev Declan Marmion, theologian, author and lecturer from St Mary’s Institute, Milltown, Dublin will deliver the homily at the ceremonies on Friday.
Most Rev Philip Boyce (Bishop of Raphoe) is the speaker and chief celebrant on Saturday while  Most Rev Christy Jones (Bishop of Achonry) will deliver the main address at the ceremonies on Sunday, August 21, the anniversary of the Apparition of 1879 and one of the biggest days of the year in Knock. The Novena will draw to a close on Monday 22 when Rev Joseph Cooney, retired PP, Ballyhaunis, and who now resides in Knock will speak on Knock, Eucharist and Renewal.
The twice daily sessions are held at 3pm and 8.30pm. All the ceremonies are relayed throughout the Knock and neighbouring regions on Knock FM which broadcasts on 101.9FM.