by Sister Elaine Kisinko, OSBM
It seems obvious that we can have many valid and serious concerns today. Our world, our country and even our personal environments do not seem to be the peaceful, happy or at least better places we would like them to return to being. Never-ending wars, needless destruction, horrible violence, an economy in chaos, empty work places, new infectious diseases; the list could go on and on. And it must be accepted that our lives have been drastically changed by the pandemic and its effects.
However, even as these many undesirable troubles surround us, our Lord assures us, “I am with you always.”
As people of faith and prayer, we continue to live in the hope and trust that our Lord and His Mother will be with us to protect and help us and those who are dear to us.
An opportunity to sustain and increase that faith, hope and trust, awaits us at the 88th annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Mount St. Macrina in Uniontown, Pa. over the Labor Day weekend this year.
The Sisters of Saint Basil the Great have announced with great joy that it will be an “in-person” Pilgrimage beginning on Friday evening, Sept. 2, and concluding on Monday morning, Sept. 5.
So, yes, there is good happening indeed.
But the real sweetness of the Pilgrimage at this beautiful monastery property is the prayer both personal and liturgical, the mystery of reconciliation, and the impressive gathering of our Church at every level from the youngest baby in the Children’s Procession on Sunday to our highest ranking, Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla.
As has happened year after year for these very many Pilgrimages, people will travel from far and near, they will be young and not-so-young, first time Pilgrims and every-time Pilgrims, and families both new and composed of several generations.
For all who come, it will be the witnessing and participation in the phenomenon of God’s grace, so called because it has endured for almost a century.
This Pilgrimage has mattered to people personally in providing them with spiritual growth and strength, and in giving them the opportunity to join with pride in this event which unites them with other Byzantine Catholics, their parishes, and their eparchies in a special time of giving glory to God and honoring His Mother.
Because of this, it has also been significant for our Metropolitan Church, as its people gather as one. It has been said that the Pilgrimage holds our Church together.
Please plan to attend. The Sisters of St. Basil with our Associates and our bishops, priests, deacons, and faithful await your arrival, your presence, and the blessings that you will both receive and share.