On Saturday afternoon in New York, heavy rains didn’t stop hundreds from attending Mass and the reinterment of John Curry, the youngest witness to the Apparition at Knock, at the Basilica of St Patrick’s Old Cathedral.
The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who gave a profound and moving tribute to Curry, speaking about how he was remembered as a quiet, pious and humble man who only talked about his experience in Knock when prompted. Dolan also spoke about the uniqueness of the Knock Apparition and the strong connections to St. Patrick’s, the historic centre of the Irish.
A number of Curry’s relatives were in attendance, including his namesake and grand-nephew who was the author of a detailed book on his life. Also in attendance was the pilgrimage group from Knock Parish, led by Father Richard Gibbons who for months has been busy making preparations for the visit which is the first ever pilgrimage to fly direct from Ireland West Airport to New York.
Singer Sibéal Ní Chasaide, together with Odhran O’Casaide performed a haunting rendition of Ave Maria during the reflection.
Towards the end of the ceremony Gibbons took a few moments to give his heartfelt gratitude to Cardinal Dolan and to all the staff at the Old Cathedral.
It was during this time that he presented Monsignor Donald Sakano, pastor of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral with an original piece of clay from the gable wall at Knock Shrine.
“We are delighted and honored to be here for this historic occasion and to lead the parish of Knock on our first pilgrimage to this sacred place. I would like to express my warm and sincere gratitude to both Cardinal Dolan and Monsignor Donald Sakano for inviting us here and for making all of this possible. We are extremely grateful to everyone for providing us with such a warm welcome, for making the Mass so special and an experience that will be cherished for many years,” Gibbons said.
Curry’s remains were brought to their final resting place in the grounds of the old cathedral by members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. A headstone was erected to give him full recognition as a native of Knock and a witness to the Apparition.