Events at: Knock Shrine & Franciscan Friary, Pantasaph
Another blessed year with family camp weeks. It is always sad parting with the families, we miss the presence of the children and comradeship among the adults. Our hope is that they all bring with them blessings and memories that they will cherish ?
The event in Knock was a grace filled experience, much more that we could have expected on this first family camp week there. Despite the mixed weather we managed to pack the week with teachings about Eucharistic Adoration by Antoinette Moynihan who leads a ministry “Children of the Eucharist”, lots of art and music and the highlight of the week was the magnificent drama directed by Mairead Bernal who’s experience as a drama teacher brought amazing results. In less than a week of practice the participating families presented a wonderful drama about the struggle of the Irish people , the apparition at Knock and the development of the shrine which stands today.
The story of the apparition and surrounding events was based on the writings and life of Dame Judith Coyne and her husband Judge Liam Coyne. Judith Coyne was central to enabling the development of Knock since 1935. The book “Providence my Guide” has given us a clear insight into the marvelous achievements of so many ordinary humble lay people in union with the clergy, in establishing a shrine which is vast and magnificent and fit to host the world.
There is something that never ceases to amaze us at every family camp week and that is the way that so many volunteers, such talented people participate with great love and enthusiasm. Everything seems to unfold perfectly which is a great sign for us to continue with this event for the future.
During the week we held the following :
Christian Art/Music & Drama workshops
Adult faith related workshops
Children’s station of the cross along the calvary way.
Families lead Rosary cenacles and candlelight processions
Children’s Adoration sessions
Witness Walk & Museum tour
We had Mass of the Consecration of Families in the Shrine Apparition Chapel, celebrated by Fr Rory Brady. This was a great blessing to know our family names are sealed in heaven through the consecration service and blessing.
Prayer of Consecration of Families
By Pope John Paul II
Lord, from You every family in heaven and on earth takes it name. Father, You are Love and Life.
Through our Son, Jesus Christ, born of a woman, and through the Holy Spirit, the fountain of divine charity, Grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love.
Grant that Your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of Husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all The families of the world.
Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for Their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love.
Grant that love, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament of Marriage, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass.
Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that the Church may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission in the family and through the family.
We ask this of you, who are Life, Truth, and Love with the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
All of us have left Knock with much joy and peace in our hearts and thankful for the opportunity to learn more about the extraordinary event of the apparition on August 22nd 1979.
We offer our sincere thanks to :
Fr Richard Gibbons PP for accommodating Family Camp week in Knock.
Maria Hunt, office administrator for her kind help to prepare the programme for the week and to facilitate us with various space for workshops
Fr Rory Brady for celebrating the Saturday Mass of consecration
Diana Castilla and Angela Garcia (Pilgrims of Love Foundation) for preparing all the material and leading the evangelization workshops.
To Marino Restrepo for his inspirational teachings via DVD’s and writings used for the adult workshops. Thank you all for your dedicated missionary zeal .
Antoinette Moynihan (Children of the Eucharist) Apostolate of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. Her workshops help children and adults to draw closer to Christ by deepening our awareness of His true presence in the Holy Eucharist.
Mariade Bernal for presenting the drama which was the highlight of the week. She managed to find a part for every child to act in . Thankfully we also managed to gather an audience for the event.
For all those who came a long way to help out:
The O’Callaghan Family, Angela, Roisin, Riaghan , Eyna and Naoise Grenham. A family blessed with so much energy, talent and love.
Gerard Smyth for kindly providing photography, much appreciated memories for all of us.
Pilgrims of love members Margaret Forrester from London and Terese Barnes, Eddie Lally from Scotland who’s presence always lift our spirits..
Special thanks to all the great families who attended, participated and contributed in the event.
We all appreciate and love the grounds around The Franciscan Friary and Retreat Centre at Pantasaph, an environment so peaceful and relaxed, ideal for facilitating family camp week. The vast open field makes it safe for young children to play and provides an opportunity especially for children who come from the city to experience the joy and freedom of the beautiful countryside and the closeness to nature. The spacious hall with excellent kitchen facilities makes it easy to provide communal catering which is a welcome treat for parents and helps to make camping so much easier. Communal eating tends to be a joyful experience for us all at Pantasaph.
The families appreciate meeting with the Franciscan Friars and enjoy conversing with them on a friendly level. Daily Mass, Adoration and confession are available throughout the week. We are thankful for the support of the Franciscan community in making Family camp week possible there every year.
In addition to the usual workshops of music, art and drama,this year we went on a pilgrimage outing to the church of Our Lady of Fatima in the town of Bala. There we had Mass for the consecration of families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This was special and meaningful to the families and in keeping with the request of our Lady of Fatima, when she appeared there in 1916 to St Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco.
More about the Church : This renowned Pilgrimage Church is in fact the first Church outside of Portugal to be dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. It was also the first catholic church to be opened in Bala since the reformation. A Portugese donor provided a remarkably beautiful statue of Our Lady of Fatima. It was carved in oak by the same sculptor who carved the Statue in the Fatima Basilica, in Portugal. It was specially blessed by the Bishop in Fatima for all who come to pray in Bala. On 12th December 1948 the statue arrived by ship to Liverpool and was placed high on an open lorry decorated with flowers and emblems as well as the flags of Wales and Portugal. The open lorry carrying the statue was followed by a cortege of white coaches, carrying pilgrimages. The procession made its way through Chester and Wrexham, Llangollen and then Bala in the heart of Wales. This renowned Church is visited regularly by Pilgrim groups.
Our visit to Bala ended with a picnic at the lakeside and the children enjoyed bathing and canoeing there
On the feast of the Assumption 15th August we attended an outdoor Mass service at the shrine of St Winifreds in Holywell, known as The Lourdes of Wales. This was a historic event at the Holy well and a blessing for us to be there.
Very soon we will be able to provide dates for next year. Please remember to book early if you plan to join us in 2016, places are limited. This also helps us greatly to prepare well for the event.
We remain united in love and prayer until we meet again.
Thank you and may God bless you all,
With our increasingly secularized and hostile culture, more weight than ever is now falling on the shoulders of Catholic parents in giving children a formation, by word and example, in what real Christian marriage is. Along with the Church’s authentic and perennial teaching, this sound family formation will prove to be the main source of guidance for children and adolescents, as the basic means by which parents pass on Christian truth in word and deed to the next generation.