A special ceremony of re-dedication will take place at Knock Basilica on Saturday July 16 at 3pm to mark 40 years of the original dedication of Knock Basilica on July 18 1976. The Basilica has been completely modernised and transformed into a warm and welcoming sacred space with top of the range technology incorporated to facilitate pilgrims with live-streamed Masses and ceremonies as well as a broader mix of concerts and events, such as the hugely successful ‘Concert for Peace’ which took place in May.
The renovation marks a new era in the history of the Basilica which started out as the great wish of Monsignor James Horan to give shelter to the thousands of pilgrims visiting Knock Shrine. It has since evolved from a one-dimensional, purpose-built, functional building to one that suggests endless possibilities for Knock Shrine, the wider community, and the west of Ireland.
The coinciding visit of the Archdiocese of Boston, led by Cardinal Seán O’Malley is perfectly providential in echoing the dream of Monsignor Horan to bring pilgrims to Knock from all over the world. The Boston group, accompanied by the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, will embark at Knock Airport on Thursday July 14th and are to spend a week taking in the delights of the west.
Fr Richard Gibbons and the team at Knock are looking forward to welcoming the group, “We are delighted to see the second organised pilgrimage coming in from the States, as we have the Archdiocese of New York with Cardinal Dolan last year which was wonderful for Knock. We are anticipating crowds similar to the August 15th, which is traditionally a very busy day in Knock. “ A commemorative booklet will be launched on the day which promises to showcase beautiful images of the new interior and interesting details around the refurbished elements as well as the impressive new mosaic, comprising of more than 1.5 million tiny mosaic tiles.
Úna Nolan, director of music at Knock, has been busy composing new pieces for the event which will include guest instrumentalists and combined senior and junior choirs in Knock. All are welcome to attend the special Mass of Rededication at 3pm.