This year will be the 41st celebration of the Novena and is such an important year as many prepare the way for the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Shrine as part of the world meeting of families in Dublin.
The theme for this year’s Novena is ‘Faith and Family’ and will draw from the key topics and themes related to family, drawn from Pope Francis’ teachings in The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia ). Knock Novena offers nine days of reflection and prayer with a chance to reconnect with your faith in a sacred space.
Family has always had a special place in the story of Knock and this year’s guest speakers and workshops will look at the central role of family in the wider community.The Novena will open on August 14 with Jim Deeds, author of ‘Finding God in the Mess’ who will speak on some guidelines to help us all to find God in everyday life – however messy! Jim has a broad range of experience in facilitating parish groups in pastoral planning and he will also lead workshops on the day.
Following there will be talks from Archbishop Michael Neary on August 15, and on August 16, Fr. Stephen Farragher from the neighbouring parish of Ballyhaunis will speak about the family as a work in progress and, at the daily workshops, Ballina native Kathleen Duffy will share her experience of planning child friendly liturgies in her local parish.
The Novena concludes on August 22, with an insight into the work of the Youth Ministry at Knock Shrine. Nicola Mitchell will talk about the importance of young people on the church today and how their faith can be ignited.
On Sunday August 26 2018, there will be a gathering event where pilgrims will be led in prayer and reflection until the arrival of the Holy Father in Knock.
Novena ceremonies take place at 3pm and 8.30pm daily and the workshops at 12 noon and 6pm.
All ceremonies will be streamed live at www.knockshrine.ie