PLOUGHING A LONE FURROW Fr Richard Gibbons, PP of Knock.
THE 140th anniversary of the Knock Apparition will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 21, with special celebrations to honour the historic occasion. Knock Museum will see the unveiling of a unique and historic model of Knock Village as it was in 1879.
The village recreation is filled with wonderful 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.
This ceremony takes place in association with a seminar entitled ‘19th Century Mayo - Place, people and the Knock Apparition’, and this will be conducted by Nollaig Ó Muraile and Tom Neary. Nollaig, who hails from Knock, is regarded as a leading Irish scholar and historian while Tom served as the Head Steward of the Knock Shrine Society for many years and has published several books on the Knock Apparition. The seminar takes place in the Museum at 12 noon.
Most Rev Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, will lead the celebrations on August 21 and will be the main celebrant at the Novena Masses at 3pm and 8pm.
The blessing of the new Processional Statue of Our Lady of Knock will take place during the 3pm Mass. “This beautiful piece was hand-carved in Italy by the Stuflesser studio in Ortesei, Italy, known as the European capital for wood carving and sculpture,” says Fr Richard Gibbons, PP, Knock.
“We are also hosting Witnesses’ Walk at 7pm with the theme ‘Meeting heaven at harvest time’. This is a step back in time as we commemorate the events of a wet August evening in 1879.
“The local people who witnessed the Apparition lived and worked in the village of Knock. On this special evening, we reflect and pray as we retrace their steps from their homes to the Parish church,” reflects Fr Richard.
The Novena continues today (Tuesday) when the guest speaker will be Rev Trevor Sargent, the former TD and leader of the Green Party (2001-2007) and who served as Minister of State for Food and Horticulture from 2007 to 2010. Trevor was ordained in 2018 and is now a Church of Ireland Minister and serves the parishes of the Waterford Union.
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.