104th Annual Pilgrimage – August 8th, 2021
The 104th Annual Pilgrimage to The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes was held on August 8th of 2021. The mass dedicated to the Feast of the Assumption was celebrated by Archbishop Donald Bolen and resident priest Fr. ChinhVu. Fr. Abello, Fr. Chris Lindenbach, Fr. Joy, and Fr. Twarowski were among a number of guest priests who participated in the mass administered to over 300 faithful pilgrims! The weather was mostly agreeable with abundant sunshine and a light breeze blowing. While some people were using umbrellas to keep in the shade, they also were useful when the clouds showed up and a grand total of ten rain drops fell during the mass. Many people were praying for rainy relief from the enduring dry conditions but were probably thankful the clouds didn’t open up in the middle of mass! The rain clouds blew away as fast as they blew in and the mass went on with Archbishop Bolen delivering the homily. Archbishop Bolen spoke to us about Mary and how she can teach us to let God take leadership in our own lives. Where Jesus went, Mary followed. She truly turned her life upside-down to follow Jesus. She prepared her heart and body to give a place for the Lord and we are called to do the same in our own way. Her willingness to be led by God to a place she couldn’t fully understand shows us how we too, can trust in Him and have faith in our permanent home in His presence. Archbishop Bolen reminded us that we are granted victory over death through God. Though we struggle with doubt and untold difficulties, we have nothing to fear thanks to Him. He lowered Himself for our sake, He made Himself small and vulnerable for us, and in assuming Mary into heaven He assured us that we will also make that journey. As always we are thankful to the Archbishop for his thoughtful leadership during Grotto Feast and all throughout the year. This was the second year we had to contend with the pandemic and accompanying restrictions. The hardworking crews of grass-cutters and early rising volunteers who set up the tent on Saturday morning ensured the grounds were looking their best. We give our thanks to every single person who has donated their time, talents or financial support towards the effort of hosting yet another Pilgrimage. From picking weeds to making coffee, every bit of help goes such a long way in creating a day to be remembered. Thank you to Fr. ChinhVu who reminds us that all the effort is worth it for every single person who shows up each year. A big thank you also belongs to every dedicated pilgrim who faithfully returns year after year to honour Mary. We are so grateful for your support and we hope to see you again next year on the second Sunday of August.