Friday 23rd January saw 15 of us of the Liverpool Cenacolo group fly to Knock in Ireland for the opening day of Our Lady of Knock Cenacolo. We arrived at Knock airport at 9.30 am and were met by a coach driven by Brendan who took us to the Knock Shrine hotel where we left our luggage before embarking on a sight-seeing tour of the area. It was a cold day but with sunshine and blue skies. We started in Westport with breakfast – the highlight of the day since we had been up since 4.00 am! then a walk around this delightful town. We visited Croach Patrick where some of us walked as far as the first station of the Cross, there sadly being no more time for more. In the evening we met up with some of the ex lads and their families including a two week old baby.
Saturday 24th was the Open Day – chosen because it was Mother Elvira’s birthday. The event took place in St John’s hall at the shrine. It was another cold, sunny blue-skied day.
Father Adrian welcomed us all and especially the English group recalling that many of us had been present at the opening of the house with many of the first occupants being from Merseyside. It was beautiful, joyful, peaceful and prayerful. We prayed very especially for Mother Elvira. Fr Michael McCormick concelebrated Mass with Fr Adrian. We prayed the rosary and after lunch there was adoration and then testimonies from the lads.
That evening the English, Irish and ex lads of the community and their families had a meal together at the hotel. We filled the dining room. It was hart warming to see one long table filled with children of the ex-lads, overseen by their mothers – allowing the ex-lads to sit at their own table and catch up with their news – in Italian of course!
The following day Sunday, we were invited up to the house for Mass, then lunch and a walking rosary. Again, at was a blue skied day – a day of warm welcomes, peace and joy. We were sorry to see it end.
On Monday morning we set out for the airport for home – but Ireland didn’t want to let us go! The airport was fogbound and there were no flights in or out for 3 hours. No one minded, we were still full of the warm welcome and prayerful days we had spent with the Irish Cenacolo and we said a rosary in thanksgiving. Thank you Lord for the opportunity we were given to be there.