Church Services

National Novena to Our Lady of Knock 2024

The National Novena to Our Lady of Knock offers nine days of prayer and reflection and the chance to reconnect with your faith in this sacred place.

‘God Whispering….’

 

How Do You Pray?

 

 

The National Novena to Our Lady of Knock will take place from Wednesday 14th – Thursday 22nd August, 2024.

 

The National Novena to Our Lady of Knock offers nine days of reflection and prayer and a chance to reconnect with your faith in the unique and sacred space of Knock Shrine. The purpose of the Novena is to recognise the unique role that Knock, as an International Eucharistic and Marian Shrine, has to play in the life of the Irish Church and to honour Our Lady, the Mother of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Speakers: National Novena 2024

Afternoon & Evening Ceremonies:

‘Hope for a changing Church’

Dr. Austen Ivereigh

3pm & 8pm

Dr Austen Ivereigh is a British writer and journalist known for his two biographies of Pope Francis, as well as Let Us Dream (2020), a bestselling book written in collaboration with him. His most recent book, published this year, is First Belong to God: On Retreat with Pope Francis (Messenger), an eight-day Ignatian retreat drawn from the Pope’s writings and talks as a spiritual director. He is Fellow in Contemporary Church History at the Jesuit-run Campion Hall, University of Oxford, and a theological expert at the assemblies in Rome of the current synod.  He lives on a small farm in the west of England, close to the Welsh border, inspired by Laudato Sì, and writes on ecology in a ‘Wild Faith’ column in The Tablet.  He is on X as @austeni.

 

Afternoon & Evening Ceremonies:

‘Keeping Mary Close’

Fr. Richard Leonard

3pm & 8pm

Fr Richard Leonard is a Jesuit priest. He has degrees in arts and education, as well as a master’s degree in theology. Fr Richard did graduate studies at the London Film School and has a PhD from the University of Melbourne. He directed the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting for 22 years. Dr Leonard is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Catholic University and has been a visiting scholar within the School of Theatre, Film & Television at UCLA and a Visiting Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.  He has lectured on faith and culture all over the world. Fr Richard is presently the parish priest of North Sydney/Lavender Bay/Kirribilli. He is the author of 13 books including Where the Hell is God? And The Law of Love: Modern Words for Ancient Wisdom. His latest book, Why God? Stories to Inspire Faith has just been released.

 

Afternoon & Evening Ceremonies:

‘Mission Possible’

Toni Pyke

3pm & 8pm

 

 

Toni Pyke PhD, is the Justice, Peace and Ecology co-ordinator with the Association of Leaders of Missionary and Religious of Ireland (AMRI). She has worked at the Archdiocese of Boston and the US Catholic Bishops Conference in Washington DC in the Office of the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees. She has lived and worked on issues of international development and development education in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Ireland. She has lectured at Maynooth University and the University of South Africa.

 

 

Afternoon Ceremony:

‘Mary, Model of Eucharistic Prayer’

Msgr Kevin Gillespie

3pm

Monsignor Kevin Gillespie is Chancellor of the Diocese of Raphoe leads the Raphoe Diocesan pilgrimage to Knock Shrine at 3pm.

 

 

Evening Ceremony:

‘To Sing is to Pray Twice’

Donna Taggart

8pm

Donna Taggart is an Irish singer-songwriter. She lives in Omagh, County Tyrone with her husband Colm with whom she has four children. The greatest artists are able to express both the harsh realities of life, as well as the joy. Donna’s early career influenced her songwriting as she witnessed first-hand the darker side of life while working in a refuge centre for women and children affected by domestic violence. Donna then worked as a youth worker for young people at risk of homelessness and then as a behavioural therapist to children with autism. Her caring nature and dedication to helping others, has shaped the artist she is today.

Afternoon Ceremony:

‘Praying the Mysteries of Creation’

Bishop Kevin Doran

3pm

 

Bishop Kevin Doran is Bishop of Elphin and Apostolic Administrator of Achonry. He serves as Chairperson of the Council for Life of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. He is also Chair of the Committee for Theology and a member of the Council for Justice and Peace and the Council for Doctrine.

He represents the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre (Oxford) and is the liaison between the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and Irish pro-life groups.

 

 

Evening Ceremony:

‘Pilgrimage: A Walk with God’

Judith King

8pm

Judith King is an accredited Psychotherapist with both IACP and IAHIP. Judith’s background is in education, community development and organisational development. She has a particular interest in the systemic perspective on personal and group life and in relation to bodywork. As well as group facilitation and organisational consultancy, Judith maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist in Bray, Co. Wicklow. She has been awarded her Ph.D from the University of Limerick for her  inter-disciplinary study (psychology/philosophy and theology) of the experience of contemporary pilgrims who do ancient pilgrimages and particularly from the perspective of embodiment.

 

 

Afternoon & Evening Ceremonies:

‘Everything starts from a prayer’

Sr Orla Treacy

3pm & 8pm

 

 

Orla Treacy is a Loreto Sister from Bray, Co.Wicklow. After living and working in various parts of Ireland, Orla volunteered in 2006 to join a new mission in Rumbek, South Sudan. Today, Orla is the Director of a girls boarding secondary school, a primary school for boys and girls, and a child centre clinic.

Orla studied at Mater Dei Institute of Education, furthered her education with a Master’s from DCU and Manchester University, and holds a Doctorate in the field of Missiology. She has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award for Irish Abroad.

Afternoon & Evening Ceremonies:

‘What it means to believe’

Aaron Gillane

3pm & 8pm

 

Aaron Gillane (born 1996) is an Irish hurler who plays as a right corner-forward for club side Patrickswell and at inter-county level with the Limerick senior hurling team. Aaron was named as PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Year 2023.

 

Afternoon Ceremony:

‘Connecting with God in a frantic world’

Gráinne Doherty

3pm

Dr Gráinne Doherty works in pastoral ministry, retreat leadership, adult faith formation, and facilitation. Prior to becoming self-employed, Gráinne was part of the Theology department in All Hallows College (Dublin) for many years, while also working in pastoral leadership at both parish and diocesan level. Her Veritas publication “Joy of Love: A Family Perspective” (2018) is a book of spiritual reflections and prayers which situates the writings of Pope Francis in the reality of family experience today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening Ceremony:

‘Prayer is where the impossible happens’

Fr Richard Gibbons

8pm

 

Fr Richard Gibbons is a native of Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. He studied at the Pontifical College in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood in 199. Fr Richard has appointed as curate to Knock in 2003 and has ministered as Parish Priest and Rector of Knock Shrine since 2012. Fr. Richard will lead this special celebratory Mass on the evening of the 145th anniversary of the Knock Apparition.

Afternoon & Evening Ceremonies:

‘Why is God so silent’

Fr Jos Moons

3pm & 8pm

Jos Moons  is a Jesuit priest who works as a lecturer at KU Leuven (Belgium). After he focused in his doctoral work on the Second Vatican Council’s view of the Holy Spirit, he now explores how to build up a more inclusive and participatory, synodal Church. Besides his academic work, he trains people in spiritual direction. He published amongst others The Art of Spiritual Direction: A Guide to Ignatian Practice (Messenger/Paulist Press, 2020/21) and a much-read article “A Comprehensive Introduction to Synodality: Reconfiguring Ecclesiology and Ecclesial Practice” (2022, available online).

Ceremonies will take place in the Basilica at 3pm and 8pm over the course of the nine days with guest speakers present during each ceremony. Each evening, we will  hold a candlelight procession, a traditional feature of the Novena at Knock, which takes place following the 8pm ceremony (weather permitting).

 

Family Day takes place on Sunday, August 18th from 11am to 3pm in the Shrine gardens. There will be a range of outdoor activities taking place on the green (weather permitting) and marquees with indoor workshops, games and more. Family Day is a lovely opportunity for families to get together and enjoy a fun day out at Knock Shrine. All events and activities are free of charge.

 

 

An excerpt from the Knock Shrine Annual of 1978, penned by Father Joseph Quinn, late Monsignor and Rector of Knock Shrine, describes the first Novena in great detail, from the themed days with titles honouring Our Lady to the candlelight procession:

‘In the quiet darkness of those August evenings, thousands of people,  lighted candles in their hands, followed the processional statue of Our Lady of Knock, in homage and with great dignity and order…the Rosary was recited, hymns were sung and there was time for quiet contemplation.’

Taken from ‘The Public Novena Devotions’ by Father Joseph Quinn, Knock Shrine Annual, 1978.

Knock Calendar 2016