The role of the Rector is to oversee the mission of the National Shrine and to be responsible for the pastoral and spiritual care of pilgrims, the Shrine Chaplains and visiting clergy.
Among the tens of thousands of Irish who have visited the shrine are President John F Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Brendan Behan and Seamus Heaney.
While there was much debate as to the numbers of pilgrims who attended the events of WMOF between 21 and 26 August 2018, the figures collated as WMOF wound down its operations show that 499,000 attended the wide variety of events.
Special focus on the family in preparation for World Meeting of Families 2018 as pilgrims invited to wear a special sticker as a symbol of bringing families with them in prayer as they made their ascent to the summit.
We can all participate in the work of salvation by accepting a share of the yoke of suffering on our shoulders, and by uniting our sacrifices and sufferings with those of Christ.
More than two million young people from across the world gathered to celebrate their faith in Poland, and as one Derry participant said, “to go deeper in our friendship with Jesus.”
"A pilgrim and a tourist may follow the same itinerary, but the pilgrim is on a sacred journey in which God is encountered through people, places and situations.”
"We remember in our prayers those who have had to flee from their homelands that they may find peace through the welcome of believers in Jesus Christ."
Speaking as the son of a Knock Shrine steward and handmaid, Archbishop Neary said he was “very conscious of the dedication which they bring to their work”.
“I can only hope you understand how much I love Ireland – love all of you – and thank you for this privilege of opening the novena at a shrine so dear to my heart.”