This imperative for adult faith formation was one of the key findings of the national synod, which recommendation will be submitted to Rome in response to His Holiness Pope Francis’ global consultation on reform. Bishop Brendan Leahy described how many people had drifted away from their faith but upon returning, sought to understand the big questions: “what is my faith and what does the Church actually say about things”. It is a happy and opportune time then for the Catechism of the Catholic Church – Adult Studies, Steering Committee to invite you to attend its annual national pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock on Saturday 30th July. The theme of this year’s pilgrimage is: “The Catechism of the Catholic Church: A Pearl of Great Price Left on the Shelf”. Rev. Fr. John Harris O.P., Prior Provincial Irish Dominican Province, will host a workshop on this theme in St John’s Rest and Care Centre from 11.30 to 12.30. There will be outdoor Stations of the Cross and a Rosary Procession at 2pm. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica at 3pm, with anointing of the sick. There will be Eucharistic Adoration and Sacrament of Reconciliation throughout the day.
This first pilgrimage to the international Eucharistic and Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Knock was held in 2019, with people present from each of the 26 dioceses throughout the whole island of Ireland. Many hundreds attended who had studied, or were studying, the Catechism. The vast majority of the Bishops of Ireland were present, at the invitation of the Papal Nuncio, Most Reverend Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, who presided over ceremonies. The sacrifice of Holy Mass was celebrated by the Primate of all Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Reverend Dr Eamon Martin.
The forthcoming pilgrimage on July 30th is free to the public to attend, and all are warmly invited to travel to Knock on this date to join with other pilgrims to learn about the Catechism. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet with people of faith, to hear how the Catechism Course has helped people grow in faith, and to share ideas about how to practically plan for faith formation. People who are thinking of taking up studies are encouraged to attend and to find out about courses in their areas. There is an opportunity to arrange for the national coordinator to travel to support those interested in establishing a study group in a cluster of parishes or deanery. Those planning on attending might consider organizing a bus, inviting family and friends, and in particular, encouraging priests to join them. Catechism study groups ideally have a priest facilitator, and retired priests, in particular, find this a golden opportunity to share the wisdom of their ministries and also to grow in faith and friendship with participants. Come and join us for a day celebrating the joy and truth of our faith!