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18/10/2021

Priest postpones the national novena at Knock Shrine with a 'heavy heart'

Priest postpones the national novena at knock Shrine with a 'heavy heart'

The national novena to Our Lady of Knock at Knock Shrine has been postponed until 2022.

The novena was to take place between August 12 and 22 and attracts as many as 150,000 pilgrims. The Novena began in 1977 and has continued in unbroken tradition since.

Fr. Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector at Knock Shrine announced the confirmation of the postponement earlier today.

Fr. Gibbons said: “Having discussed at length the logistics, health and safety of organising the Novena, it is with heavy hearts that we have decided to postpone it. After careful assessment of all aspects in line with current government guidelines, we feel that this is the right thing to do. This has been a very difficult decision that will cause a great deal of disappointment to pilgrims, it also has economic consequences for the wider community and the Shrine itself. However, the health and safety of our parishioners, pilgrims, priests, staff and volunteers is of paramount importance to us at this worrying time."

Fr Gibbons hopes the Novena will take place later this year: “It is vital that we allow the national vaccination programme to proceed across all age groups. Once we can safely gather again at Knock Shrine, a full programme will be announced for the Novena later in the year.”

While the Novena is postponed, the Shrine will remain open to welcome individuals and family groups and will continue to offer Daily Masses in Knock Basilica at 12 noon, 3pm and 7.30pm with restricted capacity and those who arrive first will be given preference.

Pilgrims may avail of Confession in the Chapel of Reconciliation. The Parish Church is available for private prayer and pilgrims can light candles. In all these locations strict queueing and social distancing measures apply.

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