John McAreavey to speak at Knock faith event

John McAreavey is to speak about his personal faith journey since the tragic loss of his wife, Michaela, as part of a faith festival at Knock Shrine next month.

‘Engaging the Heart’ is a free weekend event on Saturday and Sunday, March 12 and 13, featuring a full programme of talks, workshops and a choral concert in Knock Basilica.

The theme of the weekend is ‘forgiveness, hope, healing and reconciliation’ and it has been organised to celebrate Pope Francis’ ‘Jubilee of Mercy’.

Mr McAreavey is to give a personal testimony at 11.45am on Saturday, March 12, about his faith journey, including forgiveness, healing and hope, following the tragic death of his wife Michaela in 2011.

Mr McAreavey is the co-founder of the Michaela Foundation, a youth orientated charity that promotes wellbeing and faith through summer camps for girls across Ireland.

Well-known Northern Ireland peace and reconciliation campaigner, Rev Ruth Patterson, will also speak at the event.

Rev Patterson is a Presbyterian minister and the director of Restoration Ministries, a non-denominational, Christian organisation committed to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

She was awarded an OBE in 2003 for her efforts in reconciliation and has authored four books and numerous articles stemming from her commitment to unity and peace.

Rev Patterson will deliver a talk and a workshop over the weekend.

Another highlight of the weekend is a free choral concert on Saturday evening at 7.30pm.

Choirs from across Ireland will join together in song and praise in the beautiful surrounds of the newly refurbished Knock Basilica.

Speaking about the weekend, Fr Richard Gibbons, parish priest and rector, Knock Shrine, encouraged individuals and parish groups to come along and join in the talks and workshops on one or both days.

“There is a fantastic line-up of speakers and talks throughout the two days and an excellent workshop programme. I have no doubt this will be a wonderful event and a vibrant celebration of faith,” said Fr Gibbons.

“Engaging the Heart is an ideal opportunity to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy and is also very relevant for the Lenten journey and Easter preparations.”

For the full weekend programme and further information, please visit or telephone (094 ) 93 88100.


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