The annual novena will take place from Sunday 14 to Monday 22 August at Our Lady’s Shrine, Knock, Co Mayo and this year’s theme will be ‘Merciful like the Father’. The theme for the novena echoes the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which is taking place in the universal Church until 20 November next.
The 2016 novena will begin at the National Marian Shrine on 14 August with Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, who will preach on the theme ‘Merciful like the Father’.
On Saturday 20 August, Bishop Philip Boyce, Bishop of Raphoe, will preach on ‘The name of God is Mercy’. On Sunday 21 August Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, will preach on ‘The Joy of the Gospel – no easy recipe’, and on the same day Father Richard Gibbons PP, Rector of the Knock Shrine, will preach on the topic ‘Knock, an engagement with Mercy’.
This year’s novena will be enchanced by a special contribution from the Redemmptorist congregation, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary as custodians of the Mother of Perpetual Help. The pilgrim icon will visit Knock Shrine on Monday 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Virgin Mary, and a traditional day of pilgrimage to Knock.
Daily ceremonies will take place in Knock’s Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, at 3.00pm and 8.30pm. These will be live-streamed at www.knockshrine.ie/watch and also on Radio Maria at http://radiomaria.ie/live-stream/ or via Digital/DAB Radio.
Workshops at the novena will focus on ‘Mercy and Healing for People with Addictions’, ‘Forgiveness’, ‘Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless – challenge for today’, ‘God’s love in family life – finding God in the messiness’ and other themes of mercy. Workshop presenters include Father Richard Leonard SJ, Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference; Ms Breda O’Brien, teacher, columnist and patron of the Iona Institute; Rev Ruth Patterson, Director of Restoration Ministries; Father John Harris OP, Dominican; and Mr Gerard Smyth of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.
The HUB at Knock Shrine will also run a week-long programme of fun and interactive events for children throughout the Novena. Daily events will include a ‘Kids Club’, Arts & Crafts and ‘Saints of the Day’.
For details of all the speakers and workshops please see www.knockshrine.ie.