'Whispering With God.....'

How Do You Pray?

Daily Ceremonies at 3pm & 8pm

National Novena To Our Lady of Knock 2024

National Novena 2024: ‘Whispering with God’….How Do You Pray?

The National Novena to Our Lady of Knock takes place from 14 to 22 August. Daily ceremonies take place at 3pm and 8pm. Workshops take place at 12.45pm each day. The theme for this year's Novena is 'God Whispering'....How Do You Pray?'

Guest Speakers 2024

‘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

Thursday, 15 August:

‘Keeping Mary close’

Fr. Richard Leonard

3pm & 8pm


Fr Richard Leonard is a Jesuit priest. 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. His latest book, Why God? Stories to Inspire Faith has just been released.

Friday, 16 August:

‘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.

Saturday, 17 August:

‘Mary, Model of Eucharistic Prayer’

Msgr Kevin Gillespie


Monsignor Kevin Gillespie serves as Diocesan Administrator of the diocese of Raphoe, which is awaiting the appointment of a new Bishop. A native of Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal, Monsignor Gillespie also continues as Administrator of St. Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny. Previously he served as an official of the Congregation for Clergy, Rome, during which time he assisted in the papal liturgies as a master of ceremonies to both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.


‘To Sing is to Pray Twice’

Donna Taggart


Donna Taggart is an Irish singer-songwriter. 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 also worked as a youth worker for young people at risk of homelessness and as a behavioural therapist to children with autism. Her caring nature and dedication to helping others, has shaped the artist she is today.


‘Praying the Mysteries of Creation’

Bishop Kevin Doran


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.

‘Pilgrimage: A Walk with God’

Judith King


Judith King, a native of Donegal now living in County Wicklow, has deepened her interest in pilgrimage in recent years with further research and study.  This study builds on years of interest in theology as well as years of professional work with Religious Congregations, Religious Justice Ministries, Diocesan Clergy and Leadership Teams in all these domains, in Ireland and abroad, who all seek to find new ways of bringing the life-giving invitation and messages of the Gospel to a radically changed culture.  Somehow in the midst of all the profound changes, as people choose more secular ways of celebrating and living life, including their spiritual lives, pilgrimage still endures.  This enduring quality of pilgrimage, not to mention its many unexpected gifts, Judith believes, deserves our special attention.

‘Everything starts from a prayer’

Sr Orla Treacy

3pm & 8pm

Sr 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.

‘What is means to believe’

Aaron Gillane

3pm & 8pm


Aaron Gillane 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.

‘Connecting with God in a frantic world’

Dr Gráinne Doherty


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.


‘Prayer is where the impossible happens’

Fr Richard Gibbons


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 1999. Fr Richard was 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.

‘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” and a much-read article “A Comprehensive Introduction to Synodality: Reconfiguring Ecclesiology and Ecclesial Practice”

Daily Workshops

Workshops take place at 12.45pm in St. John’s Welcome Centre

August 14th:

“From Holy Saturday to Galilee: the courage to change”
Dr Austen Ivereigh

August 15th:

“Mary Our Mother Through Thick and Thin”
Fr Richard Leonard

August 16th:

“Daring to Hope: Embracing the Unknown”
Toni Pyke

August 17th:

God Whispering: Praying with Guidance (The Work of Knock Prayer Centre)
Knock Shrine Prayer Guides

August 18th:

“Pilgrimage as portal to the Sacred – Talking through the many blessings of pilgrimage”
Judith King

August 19th:

“Finding God where we are”
Sr Orla Treacy

August 20th:

God Whispering: Praying with The Senses (Lectio/Visio/Audio Divina)
Knock Prayer Guides

August 21st:

“Discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary”
Dr Gráinne Doherty

August 22nd:

“Seeking the Way Forward Together: On Synodality and the Discernment of Spirits”
Fr Jos Moons

Daily Prayer Sessions

Guided Prayer takes place in the Prayer Centre

Sessions at 11.15am and 5.15pm daily

August 14: Praying in Hope for Personal Transformation

August 15: Praying in Hope for Unity and Community

August 16: Praying in Hope for the Youth and Future Generations

August 17: Praying in Hope for Healing and Health

August 18: Praying in Hope for Families

August 19: Praying in Hope for Justice and Equality

August 20: Praying in Hope for World Peace

August 21: Praying in Hope for All Creation

August 22: Praying in Hope for To See with New Eyes