By Sean Ryan - 12 July, 2016
Events are finalised for the National Novena to Our Lady of Knock in County Mayo which will take place from the 14th – 22nd August next. The theme for this years Novena is ‘Merciful like the Father’ in keeping with the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The Novena will open with Most Rev. Bishop Michael Smith and the Meath Diocesan Pilgrimage as well as guest speaker, Mr. Noel Smyth, Businessman and Solicitor who whose talk entitled ‘God and Mammon- doing the right thing’ will explore the topic of business and ethics. As in recent years, workshops will take place daily at 12 noon and 6pm on a range of interesting and contemporary issues.
As part of the Jubilee celebrations of the 150th Anniversary as custodians of the Mother of Perpetual Help, the Pilgrim Icon will make a visit to Knock Shrine as part of its annual Novena. Redemptorist preachers, Fr. Michael Cusack, CSsR and Fr. Seamus Enright, CSsR will facilitate workshops at the shrine on Monday 15th August, the Feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Virgin Mary. The 15th August is a traditional pilgrimage day, with many pilgrims walking to Knock from far and wide as part of their annual ritual.
There will be a local element on Tuesday 16 August as Sr. Maud Murphy, a native of Knock will engage and enlighten with her talk ‘Compassion for People with Addictions’, followed by Rev. Ruth Patterson, Presbyterian Minister and Director of Restoration Ministries, a non denominational, Christian organisation committed to peace and reconciliation on August 17th with ‘Forgiveness and Healing’.
Fr. John Harris, OP will be speaking on Thursday 18th with ‘The Sacrament of Reconciliation- is it relevant today?’ and Dr. Jessie Rogers, lecturer of Biblical Studies, St. Partricks, Maynooth with ‘God’s Word of Mercy’. Breda O’ Brien, Columnist with The Irish Times will be speaking about ‘God’s Love in the Family’ on Saturday August 20th. Fr. Richard Gibbons, P.P., Rector of Knock Shrine will speak on the Feast of Our Lady, 21st August and will welcome Most Rev. Bishop Kevin Doran and Elphin Diocesan Pilgrimage. Mr. Gerard Smyth, St. Vincent de Paul Society will facilitate a workshop on this day entitled ‘Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless – challenge for today’.
Monday 22nd August is the closing day of the Novena and Fr. Richard Leonard will be welcomed with his talk ‘On the Mission of Mercy with Christ’ and workshop ‘God’s Mercy in Film’. Workshops will take place in St. John’s Rest & Care each day with the exception of Sunday 14th, Monday 15th and Sunday 21st when they will be located in the Prayer Guidance Centre.