No confirmation yet but Knock will be prepared for a papal visit

Preparations are underway for a papal visit to Knock next year.

The Pope is expected to visit Dublin for the World Meeting of Families in August 2018 and the Parish Priest of Knock Shrine says while they don’t know if he will visit the West – they’ll prepare for it just in case.

Fr. Richard Gibbons, Parish Priest and Rector of Knock Shrine is busy this week as the 9 day novena continues at Knock.

The theme this year is ‘Living Life to the Full’.

A number of speakers will take part including the Catholic Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran who will speak on Sunday.

Speaking to Ocean FM News today he outlined what he will focus on:

RTE sports broadcaster and personality Marty Morrissey who will be there tomorrow as part of a focus on the importance of sport in life.

Fr. Gibbons told North West Today that the 21st of August is the important day as it represents the actual anniversary of the reported apparition in 1879.

But he says it also marks the countdown to the World meeting of Families next August where Pope Francis is expected.

However, Fr. Gibbons says it won’t be clear until next Spring whether Pope Francis will come to Ireland at all but if he does they will be prepared:

The novena at Knock is open to people of all faiths and continues until the 22nd of August.