National Novena to Our Lady of Knock invites all to embrace ‘Caring for Creation’

27 Jul, 2023 | Church, News

The highly anticipated National Novena to Our Lady of Knock is set to take place from 14 – 22 August. This nine-day gathering offers attendees a chance to step away from their everyday lives and immerse themselves in prayer, reflection, and exploration of their faith.

Under the theme of ‘Caring for Creation,’ esteemed guest homilists and speakers will share their insights on a wide range of topics, including personal faith stories and responses to our ever-changing world.

The Novena Ceremonies will be held at 3pm and 8pm each day at Knock Basilica, offering attendees the chance to come together in prayer and worship. In addition, the ‘Novena Village’ will host daily workshops at 12 noon, where participants can engage in meaningful discussions and learn from experts in various fields related to faith and sustainability.

One of the highlights of the event is the series of guided walks that will take place at 10:30 am daily, starting from the Novena Village. Led by staff from the award-winning Knock Museum, these walks will provide a historical perspective on the 1879 Apparition, focusing on the experiences of the fifteen witnesses who were all ordinary people and ranged in ages from 5 years to 74 years old.

Speaking ahead of the novena, Father Richard Gibbons, Parish Priest and Rector of Knock Shrine said, “We encourage everyone to join us for this inspiring event of faith, reflection, and solidarity. Whether you are seeking personal spiritual growth or a deeper understanding of our shared responsibility towards the environment, the National Novena to Our Lady of Knock is a unique and enriching experience. With the addition of the Family Day and Novena workshops, there will be something for everyone to engage with.”

Guest Speakers at the National Novena to Our Lady of Knock include:

  • Father John Joe Duffy, CC of Creeslough, Co. Donegal. He will share his experience of helping the community through a time of great darkness and how faith sustained him and others. (Monday 14 August)
  • His Excellency Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, Papal Nuncio to Ireland. Archbishop Montemayor brings a wealth of experience from his service in various countries and will reflect on the significance of Mary as our mother. (Tuesday 15 August)
  • Paula McKeown, Diocese of Down & Connor, Director of the Living Church, will explore the theme of ‘Created for Heaven’ and share insights on pastoral renewal and adult faith development. (Tuesday 15 August)
  • Sean O’Rourke, renowned presenter and journalist, will share his perspective on faith. (Wednesday 16 August)
  • Noirin Lynch, a pastoral worker with decades of experience, will discuss the importance of working together for a better world and her involvement in the Laudato Si Working Group for the Irish Bishops Conference.
    (Thursday 17 August)
  • Geraldine Mullan, who experienced profound loss in a tragic car accident, will speak about her journey of finding hope amidst sadness and the role of faith in her life. (Friday 18 August)
  • Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ, Bishop of Raphoe, will reflect on the Synodal Pathway in today’s world. (Saturday 19 August)
  • Julianne Moran, General Secretary of the Synodal Pathway, will explore the progress of the Synod and its impact on the Catholic Church in Ireland. (Saturday 19 August)
  • Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, will discuss the importance of stewarding creation. (Sunday 20 August)
  • Elma Walsh, founder of the ‘Live Life’ foundation, will share the inspiring story of her son Donal on the 10th anniversary of his death, and discuss the legacy of hope he left behind. (Sunday 20 August)
  • Father Shane Costello, a young priest, will explore the concept of vocation and the risks involved in pursuing one’s calling. (Monday 21 August)
  • Father Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector of Knock Shrine, will share his insights on the importance of Knock for our faith journey. (Monday 21 August)
  • Father Tony O’Riordan, Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria, will discuss the theme of finding God in the service of others and the humanitarian support provided to victims of disasters and war. (Tuesday 22 August)

The Family Day has become a popular addition to the Novena programme. Taking place on the grounds of Knock Shrine from 11am – 3pm, the Family Day offers a range of outdoor activities (free of charge) and marquees with indoor workshops, games and more.

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