Knock Shrine in Mayo is the place to be this weekend. It will be hosting a National Eucharistic Congress, a Summer Youth Festival, the annual pilgrimage of the St. Joseph’s Young Priest’s Society, and the National Franciscan Pilgrimage to Knock. It should be quite an eventful weekend.
The National Eucharistic Congress is part of the preparation for the "big event" next year. On Saturday 25th June, pilgrims will hopefully travel from every corner of Ireland, arriving in time for a celebration of Morning Prayer in Knock at 11am. This will be followed later in the morning by four workshops on themes related to Communion and Eucharist. These workshops will be repeated on Saturday evening and again on Sunday morning. Space will be limited and people will be invited to register on line in advance for these workshops, which will be presented by Fr. Kieron O’Mahony OSA, Prof. Robert Enright, Rosemary Swords and Fr. Tom Norris. The workshop that caught my eye was "Helping children to pray with the Blessed Sacrament" workshop which is being facilitated by Rosemary Swords. That would be worth making the trip for, mind you I don't think my children would be welcome at a workshop!
Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica at 3pm.
I was saddened though by some of workshops on offer at the Youth Festival, the mention of dancing, pottery and environmentalism made by heart sink. Well at least the workshops are optional!