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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Boston's Pilgrimage to Knock - Prayers for Peace in a Summer of Violence

Our Lady of Knock Basilica 

Two hundred parishioners from the Archdiocese of Boston and other parts of New England are in Ireland this week to visit the Shrine of Knock in County Mayo.

The Boston-Knock pilgrimage is being led by Sean Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and includes former US Ambassador to the Vatican Ray Flynn and his wife Cathy, as well as Irish American leader Brian O'Dwyer, who is international chairman of Ireland West Airport at Knock.

Cardinal O'Malley officiated at the national re-dedication ceremony of Our Lady at Knock on July 16th, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Basilica.  The mass was attended by Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny and US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O'Malley.

Violent eruptions around the world - most recently in Nice, Turkey and Dallas - were on the minds of the pilgrims as they prayed for peace at the Shrine of Knock.

"Let us pray for peace in our world, an end to violence, terrorism and hatred," Cardinal Sean said during his homily.  He praised Knock as "the place were Ireland's faith is nourished," and evoked the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul II, who called Knock, "a special encounter between God and human beings."

Brian O'Dwyer, Cardinal Sean O' Malley and former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Ray Flynn.

See video of Cardinal Sean's homily here

Ambassador Flynn, who represented Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on the trip, said the pilgrimage of Bostonians to Knock, "reminds all of us who we really are.  We are not white or black, rich or poor, believer or atheist. We’re all Americans who want to make our nation safe for everyone."

The seven-day trip runs from July 14-21 and was organized by Cara Group Tours in Quincy and Crystal Travel in Boston.

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