“Pilgrimage of the heart”

Making a list of all the events and experiences n e g a t i v e l y a f f e c t e d by the coronavirus
pandemic is an exhausting experience.
Everyone’s personal worlds have been thrown for a loop.
There are thousands of people and their families around the country and world who are suffering and need our prayers.
Over the past six months, I may have lost out on a vacation and going to the movies but most importantly, my family and I are healthy.
You may know by now that another unfortunate casualty of the pandemic is this year’s annual Pilgrimage in honor
of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Mount St. Macrina in Uniontown, Pa.
Thousands of pilgrims have made the trek to Mount St. Macrina since 1934 to pray before her Shrine.
It’s the oldest and largest Byzantine Catholic Pilgrimage in the United States.
Thankfully, the Sisters are sponsoring a Sept. 5 to 6 virtual Pilgrimage on YouTube.com, which they’re calling “a
Pilgrimage of the Heart instead of the feet.”
The weekend will include a welcome from Sister Ruth Plante, Provincial; a Divine Liturgy Panachida for all
deceased Pilgrims; and children and teen programs.
But I know the Faithful will miss seeing Archeparchy priests, deacons, sisters and their fellow Pilgrims in person
over the Labor Day weekend.
I’m certain you have you own special memories of Pilgrimages
Personally, one of my favorite memories is going with my grandma and grandpap to the House of Prayer when I was
a little shaver (in fact, even before I started to shave…) so they could help clean and prepare for Pilgrimages during the 1970s.
At that point in my young life, I wasn’t exactly sure what “Pilgrimage” was and why so many people were coming
every year. A more recent memory is sharing Pilgrimage with my mom, dad and Uncle Ron in
Uncle Ron was visiting from his home in Montgomery, Ala. where he lived with my Aunt Louise near their four children and their families.
The memory is especially cherished since he entered into eternal life June 5.
I’m glad he was able to make one final trip to Pilgrimage and take part in a Divine Liturgy on the rolling hills of Mount St. Macrina.
I could tell by the look in his eye — and the many happy phone calls home to Alabama — that he was enjoying the
It won’t be exactly the same this year but I’m certain everyone will be spiritually fulfilled by this year’s virtual Pilgrimage.
Make plans to tune in and attend.
Comfortable walking shoes are optional this year — and this year only.