Appeals

Lourdes Appeal

January 2018

Dear Friends of Mary’s Shrine, I write to send you blessings for the New Year from Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine.

Each year I make a pilgrimage to Lourdes on your behalf to bring your petitions to Mary’s grotto. In recent years my annual journey has been in the company of my brother, Peter.

The first real journey of my life as a priest was with Peter to Lourdes, a few weeks after we were ordained. The most green of God’s humble shepherds, what I remember most clearly is the fear I experienced when we were invited to hear the confessions of many pilgrims… all of them older, wiser and holier than Peter or Paul!

What a joy it is to visit the place where over a century and a half ago the Mother of God appeared to Bernadette Soubirous!

Over the years, because of that encounter, the tiny village of Lourdes became a city, the center for travelers and a wonderfully warm place of universal pilgrimage where the experience of the healing waters brings restored life to ailing bodies and countless souls.

We should always remember that the healing touch of Mary’s intercession can be experienced wherever we are.

When I bring your intentions to Lourdes and pray for many of you by name, there is such a feeling of peace. It prompts me to take in the wonderful image of the grotto with the convergence of so many faith-filled people who wait their turn to touch the rock at the foot of Mary’s statue and to make the sign of the Cross with the waters from the earth of that holy place.

The Christian pilgrim needs a place to gain strength for their journey. Your support of Mary’s Shrine allows us to be such a place, an oasis in the desert, for the traveler.

In the Love of Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Paul Henry

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