Monica and her family attended a Pilgrimage of Mercy on Saturday, October 8, 2016. It was organized by the Cleveland Diocese and the Faith & Light group, which is part of L’Arche and open to people with disabilities and their families and friends.
The sun was shining although it was brisk at the Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine in Euclid, Ohio. Everyone received a packet with song sheets, a coloring book of the Stations of the Cross and crayons, a rosary and a booklet explaining about the Holy Door and the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis.
The Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity were so gracious to share their home with the group. We gathered at the grotto for opening prayers.
Then everyone had the opportunity to receive a blessing from Fr. Tim Daw and proceed through the Holy Doors.
There were lots of people in the chapel praying the rosary while two priests heard confessions from the group. Monica was excited to go to confession with Fr. Tom O’Donnell who she remembered especially from her retreat.
We enjoyed walking around the grounds until time for lunch. We had lunch with old friends and met new ones. Lunch was also followed with singing.
Mass was lovely at the grotto, celebrated by Fr. Tony with the musicians from St. Malachi leading the songs. I had a moment of gratefulness that Monica can read and write. Many of the attendees older than Monica might not have had the opportunity of special education that Monica did. She loved following along in the Mass booklet and singing the songs.