Pilgrimage beckons all

Sisters of St. Basil extend welcome

UNIONTOWN, PA — The 82nd Annual Pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help will be held at Mount St. Macrina, Sept. 3-4, 2016. “This year’s theme is ‘Theotokos: An Inexhaustible Fountain of Mercy’ in honor of Pope Francis’ declaration of an extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy,” stated Sister Ruth Plante OSBM, provincial.

In March of this year, Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla dedicated the door to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help as a Holy Door of Mercy. Thus, pilgrims will have the added blessing of passing through the Holy Door when they enter the Shrine to pray. The very well-attended Anointing of the Sick services will be scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday afternoons rather than two on Sunday. In addition to the Enrichment Sessions usually offered, a Festal Icon Walk is planned for Saturday afternoon.

This service will be comprised of various prayers taken from the Feast represented by the respective icon. As in previous years, the Sisters of St. Basil will welcome all those pilgrims who come from all over the country. Limited accommodations on the Mount and camping on the racetrack will be available as in the past. Light fare will be available at the Lunch Stand starting on Friday evening.

For those arriving early, Compline will be held at the Shrine Altar on Friday evening. Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Monday morning, Sept. 5 (Labor Day) for those who stay overnight. Other plans for the weekend include many opportunities for participation in the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Catholic Church. Also scheduled are Matins, Vespers, Mystery of Reconciliation, activities for teens and children, and other services in honor of the Mother of God. The Pilgrimage holds the distinction of being the oldest and the largest Byzantine Catholic Pilgrimage in the country.