National Novena
to Our Lady of Knock
14 - 22 August

Ceremonies: 3pm & 8pm
Anointing of the Sick at 2.30pm

Workshops: 12 noon

Novena Theme: 'Caring for Creation'

National Novena: Programme & Speakers

The National Novena to Our Lady of Knock from 14th – 22 August, offers you the opportunity to step away from everyday life and immerse yourself in prayer in the beautiful, peaceful grounds of Knock Shrine.

Over the course of the nine-day Novena, we will hear from guest speakers each day who will offer insights on a variety of topics, from personal faith stories, to how we are responding to a changing world. You are invited to take this time to reflect and explore within yourself on how to embrace the challenges we face in our faith.
Our theme for this year is 'Caring for Creation.'

Sign Language Interpretation at the Novena
15 & 21 August

We are delighted to announce that there will be a Sign Language Interpreter present during ceremonies on Tuesday 15th and Monday 21st August at 3pm and 8pm.

Guest Speakers & Homilists

Anointing of the Sick will take place during the Novena at 2.30pm at Knock Basilica.

Through the anointing, pilgrims in need can experience the gentle healing touch of the Lord. The sacrament is also a time to thank God for good health and to intercede for friends who are ill and for their carers.
The anointing may be received one a month by any person who has a genuine health problem and the elderly.

3pm & 8pm

Fr John Joe Duffy, Curate at St Michael’s Church, Creeslough (Parish of Clondahorkey)

‘Caring for Others’


Fr John Joe Duffy. (North West Newspix)

Fr John Joe Duffy has witnessed first-hand the devastating consequences of tragedy at the heart of the small, tight-knit community of Creeslough. He will share his experience of helping the community through this unbelievably harrowing time and how his faith sustained him and others.

6am Mass takes place in the Parish Church on the Feast of the Assumption


3pm   His Excellency Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, Papal Nuncio to Ireland.

‘Mary, Our Mother’

Archbishop Montemayor was born on 16 March 1956 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was ordained a priest on 15 November 1985. Between 1991-2008 he earned a PhD in Canon Law, and served at the Apostolic Nunciature in Ethiopia, Brazil, Thailand, and the Secretariat of State. In 2008 he served as Apostolic Nuncio in Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Capo Verde and Apostolic Delegate in Mauritania. In 2015 he became Apostolic Nuncio in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2018 he was Apostolic Nuncio in Colombia. In February 2023, he was appointed as Papal Nuncio to Ireland.







8pm   Paula McKeown

‘Created for Heaven’

Paula McKeown is director of the Living Church the office for pastoral renewal in the Diocese of Down and Connor.

She is from the Parish of Ardkeen, Co. Down and is married to Joe a youth worker engaged in Youth Ministry and Peace and Reconciliation initiatives in Northern Ireland.  They have two children Anna and Lorcán.  In 2017 Bishop Noel Treanor appointed Paula to the role of Director of Living Church office, the first Diocesan appointment of a lay woman. She currently serves as Deputy Chair of the Synodal Pathway of the Catholic Church in Ireland.



3pm & 8pm

Sean O’Rourke

The Gift of Service

Sean O’Rourke. Pic. Andres Poveda

Born in Portlaoise, Sean O’Rourke is one of Ireland’s best known journalists in print and broadcasting. Educated at Colaiste Iognaid and the University of Galway, he was a reporter with the Connacht Tribune and the Irish Press Group before joining RTÉ where he worked for over 30 years as a programme editor and presenter. Now semi-retired, he is currently working on ‘Insights’, a series of long-form interviews with public figures for RTÉ’s podcast platform. Sean is married to psychologist and broadcaster Caroline Murphy. They have six children and three grandchildren.

3pm & 8pm

Noirin Lynch

‘Working Together for a Better World’

Nóirin Lynch is a pastoral worker of almost 30 years having worked in youth, parish, diocesan and school ministry settings in the catholic diocese of Limerick, Kerry, Cork and Munich-Freising, as well as with the Holy Faith sisters in Glasnevin. She is currently Director of FCJ Spirituality House – Teach Spioradálta in Spanish Point, Co Clare. When not welcoming retreatants, Nóirin sings, writes and swims, slowly. She is a member of the Laudato Si Working Group for the Irish Bishops Conference.

3pm & 8pm

Geraldine Mullan

‘From a Site of Sadness Blooms Hope.’

“Faith, hope & love”….are three tenets Geraldine Mullan holds onto dearly. Tragically, on 20th August 2020 her life changed irrevocably for the worst when she and her family were in a car accident and she lost her beloved husband John, aged 49 and their children Tomás, aged 14 and Amelia, aged 6. She will speak of her journey since that fateful night and how she continues to look for hope each and every day.


Most Rev. Alan McGuckian SJ, Bishop of Raphoe

‘Faith and Hope in a Sea of Change’

Bishop Alan McGuckian, born in 1953 and entered the Jesuits Novitiate in 1972, he ordained a Priest in 1984 and Bishop of Raphoe in 2017.  Bishop McGuckian is the is Irish Episcopal Conference representative to ICEL; Chairman of the Council for Justice and Peace/NICCOSA, Member of the Council for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith development, Liaison Bishop with Pax Christi Ireland.





Julianne Moran, General Secretary of the Synodal Pathway

‘The Synod: Are We There Yet?’

Julieann Moran is the General Secretary of the Synodal Pathway of the Catholic Church in Ireland. She was formerly the National Secretary for the Society of Missionary Children at Missio Ireland, where she spent her time raising mission awareness and developing evangelisation resources for dioceses, parishes, and schools across the island of Ireland. From 2010 to 2016 Julieann was the Project Officer for the Council for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development with the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and has much expertise in delivering workshops, training, and other programmes that focus on enabling people to discover and develop their faith.


Most Rev. Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin

‘Stewarding Creation’

Bishop Kevin Doran is Bishop of Elphin. He currently serves as Chairperson of the Council for Life and of the Consultative Group on Bioethics of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. He is also a member of the Council for Justice and Peace, the Committee for Doctrine & Theology.
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.






Elma Walsh

‘Donal’s Legacy’

Elma Walsh is a native of The Kerries, Tralee. Sadly, her son Donal was diagnosed with cancer when he was just twelve years and passed away aged 16. In the final months of his life, Donal spoke on national media of his journey and asked young people to value and cherish the gift of life.

Elma and her family started the ‘Live Life’ foundation after Donal’s passing in the hope of spreading his message of hope of young people all over the country and further afield. Elma regularly visits schools all over Ireland to speak to young people and to share Donal’s story.

The Donal Walsh Day takes place at Knock Shrine in May each year where Donal’s legacy of ‘Live Life’ continues to grow and inspire.






Family Day

11am – 3pm

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 and will take place on the beautiful grounds of Knock Shrine, near the award-winning Knock Museum and Cafe le Cheile.

There will be a range of outdoor activities taking place on the green (weather permitting) and marquees with indoor workshops, games and more.


Events and activities will include:

  • Kite Making – Design your own kite
  • Face Painting
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Drumming
  • Dance
  • Puppetry
  • Games on the Green
  • Tea and Coffee and snacks
  • Ice Cream Van
  • Crepes Van
  • Burger Van


Don’t miss this special day of memory making and fun for everyone to enjoy!



Fr Shane Costello, Curate, Castlebar Parish

‘Vocation: Why Risk it?’

Fr Shane Costello, a native of Taugheen, Claremorris, originally trained as a Primary School teacher before joining the National Seminary, Maynooth in 2014. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Tuam in August 2020 in the Basilica of Our Lady and afterwards began his ministry in the Parish of Westport. For the past two years he has been a curate in Castlebar Parish.






Fr Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector, Knock Shrine

‘Knock – Caring for the Future’

Fr Richard Gibbons is a native of Louisburgh, Co. Mayo and Parish Priest and Rector of Knock Shrine. He studied at the Pontifical Irish College, Rome and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Tuam in 1999. In 2003 he was appointed to Knock as curate and in 2012 was appointed Parish Priest and Rector. Fr Richard is the author of the ‘Knock Prayer Book’, a beautiful collection of prayers which was published in 2018 by Columba Press.


Step back in time on Monday 21st of August, as we commemorate the events of a wet August evening in 1879. The local people who witnessed the Apparition lived and worked in the village of Knock. On this special evening, we will reflect and pray as we retrace their steps from their humble homes to the parish church. Some of our parishioners will represent each of the 15 witnesses who ranged in age from 5 years to 74 years. The Witnesses’ Walk will commence at 6.30 pm.

3pm & 8pm

Fr Tony O’Riordan SJ

‘Finding God in the Service of Others’

Fr Tony O’Riordan SJ is a Jesuit priest from Kilmichael, West Cork and a graduate of NUIG, he completed his postgraduate studies in Theology in Oxford University.
In 2021 Tony was appointed Country Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Syria. In this role he leads a team of 400 volunteers providing life-saving supports in Syria.
In February of this year, as one of the few Westerners on the ground in Aleppo at the time of the deadly earthquake, Fr Tony played a significant role in highlighting to the outside world the devastating impact of the earthquake. Since February he has led efforts that have brought relief to over 100,000 people affected. Fr Tony was instrumental in establishing the Peter McVerry Trust and was its first chairperson. He has over 20 years of experience of visiting prisons and supporting prison chaplains in Ireland and the UK.


Café Le Chéile

Café Le Chéile, located at Knock Museum will be open daily throughout the nine days of the Novena from 10am – 5pm.

T: 094 93 75350


St Mary’s Accommodation & Restaurant

Carvery lunch in St Mary’s at Cavanagh’s Restaurant 12.00pm -2.30pm
(14th – 22nd August)

T: 094 9388156


Knock House Hotel

The Four Seasons Restaurant is open daily from 8am – 9pm, serving Breakfast, Lunch and Evening Meals for residents and non-residents.
Pre-booking for non-residents is advised.

T: 094 93 88088


By Car

Knock is 220 Km from Dublin and 70 Km from Galway. It is located on the N17 road, midway between Galway and Sligo.

Visitor Car Park
Ballyhaunis Road
Co. Mayo
F12 F585

GPS Co-Ordinates: N: 53.79391 W: 008.91387


By Bus

Bus services are available from all major towns and cities. All bus stops in Knock are within a short walking distance of the Shrine Grounds. For full information including timetables visit Bus Eireann.


By Train

The nearest railway station is Claremorris (11 km), which is on the Dublin Heuston – Westport Line. For full information including timetables visit Irish Rail.
A shuttle bus operates from Claremorris Railway Station to Knock Shrine. For more information, contact Brendan’s Buses: 087 294 1227

Workshops at the ‘Novena Village’

A unique feature of this year’s Novena is the ‘Novena Village’, a special space on the grounds where you are invited to attend workshops each day at 12 noon. The Novena Village will be located on the grounds adjacent to the Basilica. Daily from 12 noon 1pm.


Monday 14              Úna Nolan, Director of Sacred Music, Knock Shrine

Tuesday 15               Paula McKeown: Meditating with Mary

Wednesday 16         Paula McKeown: Meditating with Mary

Thursday 17             Ciara Murphy, Environmental Policy Advocate, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice

Friday 18                      Jane Mellett, Laudato Si Officer, Trócaire

Saturday 19             Fr Eugene Duffy, Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick

Sunday 20                Family Day from 11am – 3pm

Mon 21                      Jane Mellett, Laudato Si Officer, Trócaire

Tuesday 22               Fr Tony O’Riordan


Daily Screenings of ‘The Letter’

Screenings of ‘The Letter – A Message for Our Earth’. Throughout the Novena, we will be join by the team from Trócaire who will offer daily screenings of ‘The Letter’, a powerful film which tells the story of four people from very different backgrounds and the roles they are playing to care more deeply for our common home. View the trailer here.

Daily Screenings of ‘The Letter’ will also take place at the following times.

11:00 – 11:40 The Letter (Part 1)

12:00 – 12:40 The Letter (Part 2)

1:00 – 2:30 The Letter

6:00 – 7:30 The Letter


Location: The screenings will take place in a marquee situated outside St John’s Welcome Centre. There is no charge to attend and all are welcome.


Daily Guided Walks – ‘1879 In Focus’


‘The 1879 Apparition from the perspective of the Knock Witnesses.’

Historical Guided Walking Tours of Knock Shrine & Knock Museum. (1 hour duration)

Join the team from Knock Museum as they unfold the story of the Apparition with a special focus on the fifteen witnesses. Walking tours will take place daily from 14 – 22 August.

Meeting point is at the Novena Village at 10:30am. Booking not necessary.
For more information contact museum staff on: T. 094 93 75034