LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Fr Richard Gibbons, Knock Shrine.
THE annual National Novena at Knock Shrine returns to its natural format for the first time in three years next month. The nine day event will run from August 14 to 22 and the theme this year is ‘A Journey of Hope’. The ceremonies will be held twice daily at 3pm and 8pm in the Basilica.
“This theme of hope leads us towards thinking and reflecting more deeply on the Synod and the fundamental questions that remain at the heart of our continual discourse. We look to the future with the hope of renewal, for God’s guidance and pray that this Novena will offer you, our pilgrims and friends the chance for thought-provoking reflection and discussion,” says Fr Richard Gibbons, PP, and Rector of Knock Shrine.
The speakers for the 2022 Novena were also announced during the week. The first speaker at the opening ceremony on Sunday, August 14, at 3pm will be Most Rev Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath (What is Christian Hope?). Cormac Henry from Brize, Claremorris, former Youth Volunteer at Knock Shrine will address the evening session at 8pm (What Gives me Hope Today?).
Roseanna Ruane from Galway, mother of Saoírse Ruane, the young girl who underwent major surgery and who featured on the RTÉ Toy Show, will speak on the subject ‘The Power of Prayer in Difficult Times’ when she will address both sessions on Monday, August 15.
Dr Nicola Brady, Chair of the Synodal Steering Group, is the guest speaker on Tuesday, August 16.
Fr Terence Harrington, OFM Cap, St Francis of Assisi Parish in Priorswood, Dublin, is the guest speaker on Wednesday, August 17. The theme of his address is ‘How Can I Have Hope in my Brokenness?’. Fr Terence is no stranger to Knock and its community having served here for several months and where he established a legion of friends through his wonderful outreach to so many people.
Halyna Teslyuk, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, will address both session on Thursday, August 18. Her subject is ‘A Hope that Inspires’. Knock Shrine will mark this day as a special day of prayer for peace in Ukraine and are inviting people from the Ukrainian community in Ireland and host families to join the Novena on this day.
Lauren Conroy (student) is the speaker on Friday, August 19 and her topic is ‘My Faith Story’.
The speaker at the 3pm ceremony on Saturday, August 20 is Fr Michael McKeever, Diocesan Secretary, Diocese of Raphoe (Eucharist: a Sign of Hope). Professor John Feehan, Geologist, Botanist, Author and Broadcaster, will address the 8pm ceremony. His topic is ‘God in Everything that Lives: A Reflection on Laudato Si’.
The Anniversary of the Apparition will be celebrated on Sunday, August 21, which will also feature a Family Day from 11am to 3pm with a range of family events in the grounds of Knock Shrine. There will be outdoor activities taking place on the green (weather permitting) and marquees with indoor workshops, games and more.
Most Rev Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, will address the 3pm ceremony in the Basilica (They will take their place at the Feast). Fr Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector, Knock Shrine, will deliver the address (Knock - the Vision of Hope) at the 8pm ceremony which is always one of the biggest of the Novena.
The Novena will conclude on Monday, August 22, when the speaker will be the newly appointed Archbishop of Tuam, Most Rev Francis Duffy. The theme of his address will be ‘The Call of the Lord.’