SPECIAL GUESTS Papal Legate Cardinal Marc Ouellet (PSS), Papal Nuncio; Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown; Fr Richard Gibbons, PP, Knock and Archbishop Michael Neary after celebrating Mass in Knock Shrine are pictured with First Holy Communicants on Saturday.?Pic:MixPix
Papal Legate celebrates Mass at Knock Shrine during Congress
OVER 5,000 attended the special celebrations which were an extension of the Eucharistic Congress to the Shrine of Our Lady at Knock on Saturday. The Papal Legate, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, was the guest speaker at the event which also saw in excess of 100 priests participate in the special ceremony.
After earlier praying with pilgrims in the Apparition Chapel, Cardinal Marc Ouellet was chief celebrant at Mass in the adjacent Basilica. The concelebrants included the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown; Archbishop of Tuam and custodian of the Marian Shrine, Archbishop Michael Neary; Bishop Christopher Jones, Bishop of Elphin; Bishop John Kirby, Bishop of Clonfert; Bishop John Fleming, Bishop of Killala; Bishop Michael Drennan, Bishop of Galway; Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry; Father Richard Gibbons, Parish Priest of Knock; and over seventy priests from the Archdiocese of Tuam and surrounding dioceses. During the Mass the Sacrament of the Sick was offered and Mass was followed by a Eucharistic procession in the Basilica in which the Papal Legate carried the monstrance.
Cardinal Ouellet told the congregation he was delighted to be at the Marian Shrine in Knock for these special celebrations. “Let us be confident that there is light beyond this present darkness and that our faith is stronger than the evil of this world and our own failures.
Archbishop Neary said Cardinal Ouellet came as a legate of Pope Benedict to the Eucharistic Congress and his visit to Knock was “a wonderful privilege for all of us and we are extremely grateful to Your Eminence.”
The Archbishop of Tuam stated it was a special time of hope and renewal for the church. “We pray that the International Eucharistic Congress will bring healing and hope to those who have been hurt, to the disillusioned and to all who are searching for God in our culture today.”
He also extended a warm welcome to the new Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown. “This is your first public visit to Knock Shrine and we look forward to your presence with us here on many occasions to lead us in prayer and celebration of the Eucharist.”
At the outset, Fr Richard Gibbons delivered the address of welcome to all the guests and pilgrims. The main approach to the Basilica looked resplendent with an array of flags adding a special atmosphere to the occasion. The roundabout at Heneghan’s Post Office was also adorned with Papal flags and bunting as Knock put its best foot forward for the day.