Missionaries on Pilgrimage to the Shrine

If we’d seen them come in on their bicycles, the three religious who visited at around noon yesterday might have been our pilgrims of the month. But it was only as they departed, helmets strapped over their veils, that we realized how they’d arrived.

The octave of  Christmas is always full of pilgrims to the Shrine. This week we greeted visitors from the Philippines, Venezuela, Florida, California and New Jersey.  Selecting just one group was a tough choice.

But on Saturday afternoon two vans pulled into our parking lot, each packed with novices of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgen of Matará. The sisters were heading to Massachusetts to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy, and stopped (as they often do) to spend some time with Mother Cabrini.

Devotion on the coldest day in FebruaryWe love the Servants. The house in Harlem brought their summer camp here on pilgrimage, and because they are a missionary order, many sisters stop in to visit Mother Cabrini before being missioned out to new places.

Last year one of the Servant Sisters made a walking pilgrimage to the Shrine from their house in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — five full hours — in 8 degree weather.  That community is named after (you guessed it) Mother Cabrini. Ten of the sisters attended our special concert on Mother Cabrini’s feast day, and gathered around the altar afterwards to serenade the patron saint of immigrants.

The novices yesterday spent a long time in prayer. Before they left they gathered to sing to Our Lady. We thought you’d like to hear their devotion, too. As they lifted their voices, it lifted our hearts.

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