Bishop Michael Smith presided at the diocesan pilgrimage to Knock on Sunday 9 August 2015.  The Bishop was joined by pilgrimage director Fr Martin Halpin, together with a number of priests and lay pilgrims from the Diocese of Meath.

In his homily, the Bishop reflected on the Eucharistic teaching of Jesus as recorded in St John’s Gospel.  “The words of Jesus” the Bishop said “provided a profound challenge to His followers, some of whom were unable to accept His message.  Yet Jesus did not shrink from teaching the truth – ‘I am the bread of life’ – that the Eucharist is indispensible from an authentic living of faith.”

Citing an example of Eucharistic activity in the Church, the Bishop referred to a memoir by Fr Christy Fox, who recently celebrated the diamond jubilee of his ordination in his native parish of Ballymore in the Diocese of Meath.  In this book, ‘Painted Butterflies, Memories of a Missionary,’ Fr Fox looks back at an event-filled life as missionary and particularly among the people of Uganda in good times and in bad. Despite witnessing some dreadful atrocities, the memoir tells the story of how a Eucharistic faith inspires missionary work and nourishes the lives of countless people throughout the world.

Earlier in the day, Bishop Smith greeted Cardinal Timothy Dolan and some pilgrims who had arrived in Knock at the start of the first official pilgrimage from the Archdiocese of New York.

(photos by Fr Mark English)