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Knock Novena gets underway this weekend


BACK TO NORMAL Large crowds, similiar to this one from 2016, are expected to descend on Knock Shrine for the upcoming Novena. Pic: Michael Mc Laughlin

Michael Commins

THE annual Knock Novena gets underway on Sunday, August 14, and runs through until August 22. The nine-day event is the height of the pilgrim season at the Shrine and the busiest period of the year in the Marian village. There is extra enthusiasm this time as it marks the return to its natural format for the first time since 2019.
The theme this year is ‘A Journey of Hope’. The ceremonies will be held twice daily at 3pm and 8pm in the Basilica.
A unique feature of this year’s Novena will be the ‘Synod Tent’, where members of the public will be invited to learn more about the Synod and what it means for all of us.  It will also provide an opportunity for pilgrims to listen to the ideas of what others think Knock Shrine has to offer and the Church in Ireland at this critical juncture in our history.
The gardai and stewards will be on hand to ensure traffic and parking operates as smoothly as possible. The outdoor processions (weather permitting) are an integral feature each day and night as they wind their way up the hill and back to the Apparition Chapel.
The speaker at the opening ceremony on Sunday, August 14, at 3pm will be Most Rev Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath (What is Christian Hope?). This coincides with the annual Meath Diocesan Pilgrimage to Knock. 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, a native of Cork and uncle of Irish international golfer, Padraig Harrington, has a wonderful affinity with Knock and its community having served here for several months and enjoyed wonderful outreach to so many people.
Further details about the remaining five days of the Novena will be carried in The Mayo News next Tuesday. More information can also be had from knockshrine.ie.