This year as we celebrate the 140th anniversary of the Apparition at Knock, and the theme of this year’s Knock Novena is ‘Continuing Our Journey’.
On Wednesday, 21st August, the 140th Anniversary of the Apparition Archbishop Neary of Tuam will be the main Celebrant at the ceremonies as we gather to celebrate this momentous occasion. We will remember in particular the local people of all ages who witnessed the heavenly vision on a wet August evening in 1879.
The Novena takes place at 3 pm and 8 pm each day with Anointing of the Sick at 2.30pm daily
The list of speakers has been announced and among the high profile people speaking on a range of issues include former Taoiseach John Bruton, Bishop Alan McGuckian of the Diocese of Raphoe, Olive Foley whose husband was the late Anthony Foley, Munster Rugby coach; Bishop Kevin Doran of the Diocese of Elphin and Archbishop Rino Fisichella, is the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. Also speaking are Carole Coleman, multimedia journalist and Fr Peter McVerry SJ.
The weeklong event offers a packed programme including contributions from the Knock Youth Ministry who run a vibrant faith centre for school retreats and summer youth programmes. Their aim is to give young people a positive experience of Knock and a powerful encounter with God. They do this by celebrating the Sacraments, spreading the Gospel message and giving witness to the loving presence of Jesus in our world.
Wednesday, 14th August: John Bruton
Theme: Faith, Future and Europe
John Bruton is a former Irish Fine Gael politician who served as Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997. He was also the EU Ambassador to the United States and held various other Leadership and Ministerial roles throughout his career.
Thursday, 15th August: Most Rev. Rino Fisichella, Archbishop of Voghenza, Italy
Theme: Mary in the life of the Church
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, is the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. He has served as President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and as President of the International Council for Catechesis since 2013. Previously, he taught fundamental theology for 20 years at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He also served as an Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University and in various curial positions.
Friday, 16th August: Olive Foley
Theme: Family and Faith
Olive Foley is the mother of two young boys and wife of the late Anthony Foley, the Munster Rugby coach who died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 42 in 2016. Olive is an ambassador for the Children’s Grief Centre in Limerick, which offers support services for children who have lost a loved one.
Saturday, 17th August: Most Rev. Alan Mc Guckian, Bishop of Raphoe
Theme: What Knock means to me
Bishop Alan Mc Guckian is a native of Cloughmills, Co. Antrim and has been Bishop of Raphoe since 2017. As a Jesuit priest, he worked in communications for many years. In recent years, Bishop Mc Guckian ran the Living Church Office in the Diocese of Down & Connor. A key element of the work of the Living Church has been the rolling out of Facilitative and Discerning Leadership training which aims to foster a culture of co-responsibility for the mission of the church between clergy and laity.
Saturday, 17th August: Dr. John Feehan
Theme: God in Creation – learning to read the other Book of Revelation
Dr. John Feehan is an Irish geologist, botanist, author and broadcaster. He was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Agriculture and Food Science at University College Dublin, where he taught for twenty years up to his retirement in 2012. In recent years he has devoted his attention more particularly to the interface between religion and science. His book on creation spirituality, The Singing Heart of the World won a Nautilus Book Award in 2013.
Sunday, 18th August: Most Rev. Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin
Theme: A joy that lies ahead of us
Bishop Kevin Doran has been Bishop of Elphin since July 2014. He is chairs the Council for Life, the Consultative Group on Bioethics and Life Questions and is a member of the Council for Justice and Peace and the Council for Doctrine and Theology of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Sunday, 18th August: Rt. Rev. Msgr. John Armitage
Theme: Mary and the reality of family life
Msgr. John Armitage is the Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, known as ‘The Nazareth of England.’ Walsingham has been a place of pilgrimage for almost a thousand years since Richeldis de Faverches was inspired to build a Shrine in perpetual memorial of the Annunciation.
Monday, 19th August: Carole Coleman
Theme: Motherhood, media and me
Carole Coleman is an experienced multimedia journalist. Carole is well known to Irish audiences as the former Washington correspondent and Education and Environment at RTÉ. She is currently a presenter and reporter on ‘This Week’ on RTÉ Radio One.
Tuesday, 20th August: Rev. Trevor Sargent
Theme: Faith in Action
Rev Trevor Sargent is a Church of Ireland Minister and a former Irish Green Party politician who served as Minister of State for Food and Horticulture from 2007 to 2010 and Leader of the Green Party from 2001 to 2007. Trevor was ordained in 2018 and serves the parishes of the Waterford Union.
Nollaig O Muraile & Tom Neary
Nollaig Ó Muraíle is an Irish scholar. He published an acclaimed edition of Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh’s Leabhar na nGenealach in 2004. He was admitted to the Royal Irish Academy in 2009. Tom Neary served as Head Steward of The Knock Shrine Society for many years and is the author of many books and publications on the Knock Apparition.
Thursday, 22nd August: Fr. Peter Mc Verry
Theme: Following the dream of Jesus
Fr. Peter McVerry is the founder of Peter McVerry Trust, one of the country’s largest organisations responding to the issue of homelessness. In 2017 the charity worked with over 4,900 vulnerable youths. As a social activist, Peter is a strong advocate for those who have no voice in society. He has written widely on issues relating to young homeless people such as accommodation, drugs, juvenile justice, the Gardaí, prisons and education.