National Novena to Our Lady of Knock

National Novena to Our Lady of Knock
14th -22 August 2017

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

The programme for this year includes a wonderful line-up of guest speakers and workshops to help enrich and enliven faith. The theme is ‘Living Life to the Full’ and as the title suggests, there will be a strong focus on appreciating the gift of life and finding beauty in the everyday.

Planning a visit to Knock Shrine throughout the Novena? Find out more about Parking, Accommodation, Mobility Assistance and Mass Times


Novena Prayer to Our Lady of Knock

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Map of Shrine Grounds

Continue reading or download the Novena brochure here: Novena 2017 Full Programme

Launch of the World Meeting of Families 2018

One of the main highlights of the Novena will take place on Monday 21st August with the launch of the World Meeting of Families 2018 programme ‘Amoris: Let’s talk Family, Let’s be Family!’. Families representing each diocese will travel to Knock for this special day. A newly commissioned Icon of the Holy Family will be unveiled and anointed in the Basilica following which, the Icon will travel to each diocese around the country as part of the WMOF2018 celebrations. It is also hoped to have a special ‘Witness Walk’ at 7pm, prior to the Novena evening Mass. This is to remember the witnesses and follows a route around the village and Shrine grounds followed by a special blessing in the Apparition Chapel.

Sacred Music & Choirs

Every year, different choirs are welcomed to Knock Shrine to perform during the Novena ceremonies. See the full schedule here: Novena 2017 choirs

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Knock Novena 2017 PosterAugust / Novena Pilgrimage Walks

21st August     Witnesses’ Walk 
On Monday 21st August, a special walk will take place to give recognition to all of the people who witnessed the Apparition at Knock on the 21st August 1879. The walk will follow a short route (2.5 km) around the Shrine and village, pausing at key points. It will begin at the Chapel of Reconciliation and end with a minute silence and prayers in the Apparition Chapel at 8pm, prior to the Novena evening ceremony. 

15th August     Catherine Murray Vigil Walk to Knock 
An organised walk will take place Tuesday morning, August 15th starting at 3.00 am. The walk will leave Bekan cemetery, the resting place of visionary Catherine Murray, who was the second youngest witness to the apparition of Knock. The guided walk will follow in the footsteps of young Catherine as she made her journey through the townlands of Tully, Lissaniskea, Cloonfaughna, Magheramore on through Churchfield, and finally to the Marian Shrine Knock, where we will gather for mass at 6 am. Refreshments will be available after Mass in St John’s Rest & Care Centre (small fee for return bus to Bekan). If you’re interested in taking part in the walk, please contact Michael: (087) 9947842 or Leonie: (086) 8486924 for further information.

Programme of Speakers


Monday 14th August

Speaker: Dr Mary Healy
Mass: 3pm & 8.30pm, ‘Life to the Full; Jesus the Healer’
Workshops: 12 noon & 6pm, ‘Praying for Healing’

Mary Healy is professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and an international speaker on topics related to Scripture, evangelisation, healing, and the spiritual life. Dr. Healy is chair of the Doctrinal Commission of International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services in Rome. In 2014 Pope Francis appointed her as one of the first three women ever to serve on the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

Tuesday 15th August

Mass: 3pm & 8.30pm, Fr Seamus Enright, CSsR
Workshops: 12 noon & 6pm: Fr Michael Cusack, CSsR,
‘Mary, Giver of Life and Joy’

Fr Seamus Enright CSsR is Rector of Mount St Alphonsus in Limerick where he also serves as Director of the Solemn Novena and the Redemptorist Christmas Hamper Appeal. Last year the Redemptorists celebrated 150 years of devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Knock on August 15th. This year the Redemptorists in Limerick are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first copy of the Icon in Ireland.


Wednesday 16th August


Speaker: Marty Morrissey, Mass 3pm & 8.30pm
‘Living Life to the Full’
Although best known for his career as a sports commentator and TV personality on RTÉ, Marty Morrissey is also known for his great sense of humour and infectious upbeat personality. Marty Morrissey will talk about his personal outlook on life and how his positive attitude has been integral to his success both as a professional commentator and in his personal life.



Workshops: 12 noon & 6pm
Speaker: Rev. Kevin O’Gorman,
‘Sport, Virtue & Life’

A native of Tipperary Town, Fr Kevin O’Gorman is a priest of the Society of African Missions (SMA) and lectures in moral theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He is the author of Saving Sport: Sport, Society and Spirituality which explores key questions about the experience of sport, and its expression by the media, in the conversation between church and society on faith and culture.


Bernadette McNeive

Thursday 17th August

Speaker: Bernadette McNeive, Mass 3pm & 8.30pm
‘Organ Donation: giving and receiving life’
Bernadette McNeive is a native of Knock and organiser of the first ever Mass for Organ Donors at Knock. Her son Matthew received a kidney transplant at the age of eleven and the Mass was an opportunity to give thanks for the gift of life, and to remember deceased and living donors. Bernadette will be speaking about her own personal experience as a mother and the importance of the gift of organ donation.


Workshops: 12 noon & 6pm
Speaker: Darren Cawley
‘Organ Donation: giving and receiving life’

Darren Cawley is a motivational speaker. Darren was born in the West of Ireland. While studying for a degree in Sports & Fitness in the University of Bedfordshire he was diagnosed with Kidney Failure. It has become his passion to promote the lifesaving gift of organ donation, and to share the positive experiences garnered from living with kidney failure.

Friday 18th August

Speaker: Rt. Revd Patrick Rooke (Bishop of Tuam, Killala & Achonry Diocese – Church of Ireland), Mass 3pm & 8.30pm
‘The Reformation, 500 Years On’

In the context of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Bishop Rooke will speak on ‘Reformation, Remembering & Reconciliation’, which will take a reflective look at relations between the churches and explore paths to reconciliation.



Workshops: 12 noon & 6pm

Speaker: Prof. Salvador Ryan

‘Was the Reformation a Great Misunderstanding?’
Salvador Ryan is Professor of Ecclesiastical History at St Patrick’s College Maynooth. He is a native of Moneygall, County Offaly, and has recently edited Remembering the Reformation: Martin Luther and Catholic Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017).

Saturday 19th August

Speaker: Most Rev Philip Boyce, (OCD), (retired) Bishop of Raphoe, Mass 3pm

My Spirit Rejoices in God, My Saviour’

Bishop Boyce recently retired after over 20 years as Bishop of Raphoe. His Motto “In the Service of Mother Church” is of Carmelite origin. He will reflect on Our Lady’s role in God’s plan for our lives.




Mass: 8.30pm
Workshops: 12 noon & 6pm

Speaker: Fr Daniel O’Leary

‘We are Treasured and Transformed’

Fr Daniel O’Leary is a priest of the Diocese of Leeds, is an author and teacher with wide experience both in Parish ministry and education. He is a regular speaker at conferences and also gives retreats on spirituality.


Sunday 20th August

Speaker: Most Rev Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin

‘Making our families Christian, Mass 3pm

Bishop Kevin, is the eldest of a family of 3.  He has 2 sisters.  He is a member of the Council for Marriage and Family, the Council for Justice and Peace, the Council for Healthcare and he chairs the Consultative Group on Bioethics and Life Questions of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.



Speaker: Dr Aoife McGrath, Mass 8.30pm
‘Light through the cracks: life in local communities’

Workshops: 12 noon & 6pm

Aoife is a lecturer in Pastoral Theology and Parish Placement Coordinator at the Pontifical University, Maynooth. She previously worked as a Parish Pastoral Worker in the diocese of Waterford & Lismore, and as a researcher for Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Ireland and Australia. She is a frequent speaker at parish, pastoral area, and diocesan events, addressing contemporary issues of faith, discipleship, and ministry. She has a particular interest in lay pastoral ministry and the pastoral care of marriage and family.

Monday 21st August

On this day we celebrate the launch of the World Meeting of Families 2018 Programme
‘Amoris: Let’s talk Family, Let’s be Family!’. 
We look forward to welcoming families from every diocese across the country for this special celebration.

A newly commissioned Icon of the Holy Family will be unveiled and anointed in the Basilica. Following this special blessing, the Icon will travel to each diocese around the country as part of the WMOF2018 celebrations.


Speaker: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Mass 3pm & 8.30pm

‘When Plates Fly: Pope Francis on the joys and challenges of family life’

We will welcome Most Rev Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Knock. There will be a strong focus on the joys and challenges of family life, drawing from the wisdom of Pope Francis.



Speaker: Fr Timothy Bartlett, Secretary General for the WMOF2018

Workshops: 12 noon & 6pm

‘Glued to our phones; can we make technology more family friendly?’

With the prevalence of technology in our everyday lives, how can we manage the use of technology in our families, homes and relationships?



Tuesday 22nd August


Speaker: Maria Steen, Mass 3pm & 8.30pm

‘Cherishing Life to the Full’

Maria Steen is spokesperson for the Iona Institute and campaigner for the Pro-Life movement. She regularly appears on TV and radio debates.


Workshops: 12 noon & 6pm

Speaker: Cora Sherlock

‘Cherishing Life: a human rights issue’

Cora Sherlock is a solicitor, practising in Dublin, Ireland and specialising in conveyancing and title issues. For a number of years, she has acted as Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign, a single-issue, non-denominational organisation that campaigns against abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, and other issues surrounding the right to life and dignity of human beings.


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