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Yesterday was a remarkable day for the people of Knock and the Irish diaspora in New York as Fr. Richard Gibbons, P.P., and Rector of Knock Shrine led a group out from Ireland West Airport to New York with Aer Lingus in glorious sunshine.
Earlier this week Ireland West Airport Knock and Knock Shrine announced that the first Diocesan pilgrimage from the Archdiocese of Boston to Ireland’s National Marian Shrine will take place in July this year. The announcement of this pilgrimage follows a similar pilgrimage from the New York Archdiocese which took place last summer. This will be the first ever transatlantic service operated by Aer Lingus, from Boston, to Ireland West Airport Knock.
Knock Shrine and Ireland West Airport announced this morning the first Diocesan pilgrimage from the Archdiocese of Boston to Ireland’s National Marian Shrine will take place in July this year. This announcement represents another milestone for the airport and the region as it will be the first ever transatlantic service operated by Aer Lingus, from Boston, to Ireland West Airport Knock.
I hope the recent scandals in the Catholic Church will not discourage the noble tradition of the cleric as the social champion of the people. It is time that we had their like to nail their colours to the mast once again. Growing up in the last century, I was familiar with such names as Fr James McDyer and his tireless campaign against the official neglect of Gleann Cholm Cile; and Canon George Quinn and his fight for better social housing. There were several others, who have spilled over into recent years, including Fr Peter McVerry and his fight for homeless people in Dublin, and Fr Harry Bohan and his belief in the staying power of families in rural Ireland. But the champion of them all, the priest with the soft voice and a twinkle in both eyes, was the indefatigable Monsignor James Horan. Not only did he re-design the village of Knock to make it more people friendly, he built schools, clinics, and a convent, and a vast basilica. He organised community water schemes, and forestry plantations, and built an impressive international airport in the bogs of Mayo.