New York cardinal opens 2015 national novena at Knock

Over 150,000 pilgrims from Ireland and abroad expected to attend over the nine days

 Cardinal Timothy Dolan with the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, and Bishop of Meath Michael Smith. Photograph:  John Mc Elroy

Cardinal Timothy Dolan with the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, and Bishop of Meath Michael Smith. Photograph: John Mc Elroy

 

The Catholic Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, performed the official opening of this year’s national novena at Knock, in Co Mayo, yesterday.

It continues until next Saturday, August 22nd.

The cardinal, pictured yesterday with Joan O’Connell from New York, arrived at Ireland West Airport Knock last Saturday on an Aer Lingus chartered flight from New York, the first such transatlantic flight to the airport, accompanied by the papal nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles Brown, a New Yorker, and 170 pilgrims.

At the novena opening ceremony in Knock’s Basilica Cardinal Dolan spoke on this year’s theme: faith and family. He said that “our identity is that we are children of God . . . our identity comes from our faith”.

An estimated 150,000 pilgrims from Ireland and abroad are expected to attend the 2015 national novena.

The Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin will speak there today, on the Feast of the Assumption, Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin will speak tomorrow, as will the United Nations’ special representative for international migration, Peter Sutherland, on Monday.