Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Up to 150,000 people will descend on Knock Shrine next week for the National Novena which will return in its natural format for the first time since 2019. Picture: Michael McLaughlin.

By Trevor Quinn

Up to 150,000 people will descend on Knock Shrine next week for the National Novena which will return in its natural format for the first time since 2019.

There was huge disappointment after the Covid-19 pandemic led to the event being cancelled in 2020 and 2021.

However, Fr Richard Gibbons, PP, and Rector of Knock Shrine, said there is now lots of anticipation that tens of thousands of people can enjoy the nine-day event from August 14 to 22.

“It’s the first Novena since the pandemic and we’re looking forward to people coming back and we think it’ll be well attended.

“We’ve put a lot of work into it in terms of the various speakers and there’s a whole raft of [interesting people].

“About 150,000 people attended the Novena in 2019 and we’d be hopeful of getting close to that number this year.”

The grounds at Knock Shrine. Picture: Sinéad Mallee.

Fr Gibbons believes the Ukrainian community in Ireland will be very interested in a talk by Halyna Teslyuk, Associate Professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv on Thursday, August 18. The topic will be ‘A Hope that Inspires’.

“We have a very special and important day for peace in the Ukraine where we’ve invited Ukrainians from across the country to come and the Ukrainian ambassador Gerasko Larysa will be coming and a special envoy that Pope Francis has appointed to Ireland will be attending too.”

The first speaker at the National Novena on Sunday, August 14, at the 3pm opening ceremony will be Most Rev Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath speaking about, ‘What is Christian Hope?’.

Other notable speakers include Roseanna Ruane, the Galway-based mother of young Saoírse Ruane, who underwent major surgery and featured on the RTÉ Late Late Toy Show. She will address both sessions on Monday, August 15 and talk about the topic, ‘The Power of Prayer in Difficult Times’.

Meanwhile, Dr Nicola Brady, chair of the Synodal Steering Group, is the guest speaker on Tuesday, August 16.

Fr Terence Harrington, OFM Cap, St Francis of Assisi Parish in Priorswood, Dublin, will address the theme, ‘How Can I Have Hope in my Brokenness?’ on Wednesday, August 17.

See the full programme below:

Novena Programme: Guest Speakers

Sunday 14  August

3pm         Most Rev Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath

What is Christian Hope?

8pm         Cormac Henry, former Youth Volunteer at Knock Shrine

What Gives me Hope Today?

 Monday 15  August

3pm & 8pm         Roseanna Ruane, mother of Saoírse Ruane

The Power of Prayer in Difficult Times

Tuesday 16 August

3pm & 8pm          Dr Nicola Brady, Chair of the Synodal Steering Group

The Synodal Pathway: What have we learned and what will we do?

Wednesday 17  August

3pm & 8pm        Fr Terence Harrington OFM Cap,

How Can I Have Hope in my Brokenness?

Thursday 18  August

3pm  & 8pm       Halyna Teslyuk, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine

A Hope that Inspires

Friday 19 August

3pm & 8pm      Lauren Conroy, Student

My Faith Story

Saturday 20 August

 3pm       Fr Michael McKeever, Diocesan Secretary, Diocese of Raphoe

Eucharist: a Sign of Hope

8pm       Professor John Feehan, Geologist, Botanist, Author and Broadcaster

God in Everything that Lives: A Reflection on Laudato Si

Sunday 21 August, the Anniversary of the Apparition

3pm      Most Rev Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin

They will take their place at the Feast

8pm       Fr Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector, Knock Shrine

Knock – the Vision of Hope

Monday 22 August

3pm & 8pm     Most Rev Francis Duffy, Archbishop of Tuam

The Call of the Lord

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