Thousands of people applauded the Bishop of Meath, Bishop Michael Smith, during the 2018 Diocese of Meath pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Shrine, Knock last Sunday, 12 August, the last time he would lead the pilgrimage as Bishop of Meath.
Bishop Smith formally retires as Bishop of Meath on Sunday, 2 September, during the episcopal ordination of his successor, Bishop-elect Tom Deenihan.
Bishop Smith was ordained a bishop almost 35 years ago, on 29 January, 1984, and the annual Diocese of Meath pilgrimage to Knock has been a highlight of the year, with thousands travelling from across the Diocese and from elsewhere in Ireland and abroad.
This year was different, and Fr. Richard Gibbons, PP, Knock and Rector of the Shrine, made no secret of the fact that last Sunday would be the last time Bishop Smith would lead the Meath pilgrimage as Bishop of Meath.
In making a special presentation to Bishop Smith in front of the assembled thousands, Fr. Gibbons thanked him for his decades of support for Knock and for so faithfully and enthusiastically leading the annual pilgrimage.
The Meath Diocesan Choir provided the hymns and music during the ceremonies in Knock last Sunday, and afterwards in Our Lady’s Basilica they also made a presentation to Bishop Smith.
The ceremonies concluded in front of the the Apparition Chapel in Knock with the blessing of all present, and as he walked back to the Basilica, Bishop Smith was inundated with well wishers thanking him for his decades of service and wishing him well in his retirement.