The year 2017 will be a remarkable year for the people of Knock and the Irish diaspora in New York as plans are underway at Knock Shrine to lead a pilgrimage group out from Ireland West Airport to New York next May.
For the last two years, Knock Shrine and Ireland West Airport has
welcomed pilgrims from New York and Boston and will now have the
privilege of bringing the people of Knock and the West and North West of
Ireland across the waters for a special and historically unique 7-day
trip which will be led by Father Richard Gibbons, PP, Rector, Knock
The flight will depart from Ireland West Airport on Monday 8 May direct to JFK and return on Sunday 14 May.
The primary purpose of the visit is to have the remains of John
Curry, the youngest person to witness the Knock Apparition of 1879,
re-interred from the current location at Pine Lawn Cemetery, Long Island
to Saint Patrick’s old Cathedral, New York.
John Curry was just five years old when he, along with fourteen
others witnessed a miraculous phenomenon at the gable wall of the Parish
Church. Little did he know at that time what life would bring his way,
however he like many others at the time left Ireland for New York where
he remained until his death in 1943.
The remains of John Curry will be brought to old Saint Patrick’s
Cathedral, Manhattan on Saturday 13 May where a special requiem Mass
will be celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.
This is seen as a great honour bestowed by the Archbishop of New York
for Knock Shrine and for John Curry’s family to have his remains
transferred to the historic centre of the Irish.
Father Richard Gibbons, PP, and Rector of Knock Shrine commented, “I
am delighted and looking forward to leading this historic trip to New
York. The significance of the visit is two-fold in that it will
recognise John Curry’s place as a witness and native of Knock and also
pay tribute to others like him, the ‘forgotten Irish’ who faced the
desolation of leaving home never to return. This unique trip will give
the people of the region an opportunity to take part in a special trip
flying out from Ireland West Airport to New York and take in the various
sights and places of significance and to be part of something very
unique and special.”
Welcoming the pilgrimage Joe Kennedy, Chairman, Ireland West Airport,
said, “ We are delighted to welcome the announcement of yet another
historic service with Aer Lingus to New York in 2017, which is yet
another milestone in the relationship between the airport and Aer
Lingus. This follows on from the hugely successful charter programmes
from New York in 2015 and Boston in 2016 and further highlights the
possibilities of pilgrimage growth and the strategic importance of
Ireland West Airport to the future of Ireland’s National Marian Shrine.”
For more on the pilgrimage see www.knockshrine.ie.