The first ever pilgrimage from Knock Shrine to New York departed today at 12.45pm on a special chartered flight from Ireland West Airport to JFK International.

As part of this historic seven-day pilgrimage, the remains of John Curry, the youngest Knock Apparition witness, will be reinterred at Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, New York, on Saturday 13 May, where a special requiem Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. This is seen as a great honour bestowed by the Archbishop of New York for Knock Shrine and for John Curry’s family.

Speaking ahead of the pilgrimage, Father Richard Gibbons, PP, Rector, Knock Shrine, said, “I am delighted and looking forward to leading this historic trip to New York. The significance of the visit is two-fold in that it will recognise John Curry’s place as a witness and native of Knock and also pay tribute to others like him, the ‘forgotten Irish’ who faced the desolation of leaving home never to return. This unique trip will give the people of the region an opportunity to take part in a special trip flying out from Ireland West Airport to New York and take in the various sights and places of significance and to be part of something very unique and special.”

For the last two years, Knock Shrine and Ireland West Airport have welcomed pilgrims from New York and Boston and will now have the privilege of bringing the people of Knock and the West and North West of Ireland across the waters for a special and historically unique seven-day trip which will be led by Father Richard Gibbons, PP, Rector, Knock Shrine.

The primary purpose of the visit is to have the remains of John Curry, the youngest person to witness the Knock Apparition of 1879, re-interred from the current location at Pine Lawn Cemetery, Long Island to Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, New York.

John Curry was just five years old when he, along with fourteen others witnessed a miraculous phenomenon at the gable wall of the Parish Church. Like many others at the time, he left Ireland for New York where he remained until his death in 1943.

Father Gibbons will speak with Brenda Drumm about the pilgrimage on this week’s episode of Faithcast, which will shortly be available here.

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