Bishop Michael Smith celebrated Mass at the Basilica in Knock on Sunday 26 April 2015.  The pilgrimage was organised by the Apostolate of Perpetual Adoration.

At the beginning of the Mass, the Bishop complimented Fr Richard Gibbons, Parish Priest of Knock, and his team on the major refurbishment that is being carried out at the Basilica.

In his homily, Bishop Smith drew a link between the adoration of the Eucharist “in the quietness of churches all over the country” and the silence which accompanied the Marian apparition in Knock.  The Bishop highlighted the focus on the Eucharist, which was central to the Knock apparition, noting also the silent adoration of Mary.

The Bishop acknowledged that the Adorers “have accepted the invitation to spend time in personal and silent prayer before Christ in the Eucharist.  Jesus speaks in our Gospel today of opening the gate to the sheepfold. Those who listen and hear His voice come to spend time with Him. They are comfortable in His presence, they do not feel afraid.”

With some humour, Bishop Smith noted that “those involved in the apostolate are generally on the mature side of life”. The Adorers give generously of their time and faith in serving the Church and giving witness in family life.  He quoted Pope Francis, who has talked about the vocation of the elderly to be people of prayer – “poets of prayer”.

“You have so much wisdom and experience to impart: able to intercede for the expectations of the younger generations and give dignity to the memory and sacrifices of past generations – so often overlooked or neglected; able to remind the young that life without love is a barren life; able to say to the young who are afraid that anxiety about the future can be overcome; able to teach the young who can be overly absorbed in self that there is more joy in giving than in receiving Your prayer, your witness, your wisdom is a great gift for society and the Church.”

Click here for the full text of Bishop Smith’s homily.

These are some photo taken during the pilgrimage by James Wims