After a week and a half of rain things are greening up nicely and the goats are prepping the garden for us.
With retreaters, ( Franciscans from Boston and college students from UVM) there is interior work as well and the
planting season is upon us!
So it's a good thing we attended Divine Mercy Sunday at the National Marian Shrine in Stockbridge, MA, because we need all the Graces we can get!
Over 19,000 were there for Sunday services but it seemed just as crowded when we arrived Saturday.
It rained all the way down to Stockbridge but when we stepped out of the car the rain stopped, when we arrived at the outdoor location for Mass and the Divine Mercy Chaplet started, the sun came out bright and warm!
Mass was very moving as well, and then we had time to visit the Shrine itself, the Chapel; where the drop of blood relic of SAINT John Paul the II is displayed, the lovely grounds, the life size bronze statue stations of the cross, the Lourdes grotto and then after adoration, off to the Econolodge in Lenox.
The next day there were so many pilgrims heading to the Shrine everyone parked off site, except for the tour buses and took local school buses in.
Once there, we had time to tour more of the Shrine, visit the gift shop and even go to the confession tent then guard a plot of lawn when the 19,000 plus pilgrims came for
Divine Mercy Sunday Mass!
It was a very moving weekend, powerful and resonating with Graces abounding for all of us there. I urge you, if you haven't made this pilgrimage to the National Shrine you really should try to attend the event. To learn more visit the website:
And plan to go at least once. It was amazing. To be in such as large crowd, where so many languages are spoken from all around the world makes you realize how really universal our Church is. 19,000 plus and everyone I met was happy, at peace and even willing to share food, umbrella's or anything with each other. And if you think communion is tricky at your church, imagine what communion for 19,000 plus was like, even with 65 Eucharistic ministers!
After a long drive, late to bed and then time to gear up fast!
One of the best parts of the whole event was after all that standing in the rain, walking and lack of sleep, my teen age daughter turned to me and said, "Dad can I tell you something about this whole thing." I prepared to explain how important this day was and she continued, "this was really, cool can we do more things like this". That pretty much made my day.
Once we got back,..the next day was time for my son, Matthew's Confirmation!
Another glorious event where his Godfather drove all the way from Western Connecticut to be his sponsor.
All those pics are on another camera, but we dressed nice and were very happy with how skillfully Monsignor McDermott presided over a wonderful ceremony!
As before, the insulating project continued in full swing immediately the next day,
THANK YOU Barrett Adams and Northeast Remodeling!
The project was an epic one, masterminded by Barrett.
Such a huge structure over 4,000 square feet, with so many air leaks needed a lot of foam and cellulose to seal up!
The Basement walls began to look like a ride at Santa's Village!
The temps were warm and foam came out hot, working in that spraying suit was a real ordeal!
But Barrett and his crew soldiered on, completing the entire job in under scheduled time.
I highly recommend professional young man for any remodeling or insulating work in the NEK!
He'll be back here for the insulation of the Chapel and other big jobs to come.
The following weekend was a parish family day with fascinating guest speakers, Adoration and Mass at Jay Peak, no pics, by now we were just trying to keep up.
Then, after all these events, came May 10th, my mother's birthday. A day to remember her recent passing with a wonderful memorial service here in our Chapel accompanied by family and friends,
followed by a reception.
It was truly a wonderful and blessed event. A Mass coupled with prayers, music and words that shared stories about her life; just a touching way to recall a life well lived and celebrate her.
After such a whirlwind few weeks came Mother's Day and so we took Mom out for fishing and a picnic,..her idea, and a great time!
That's it for now, phew!
Some local kids from an alternative school are showing up for major garden work in our quest to supply the local food shelves. And as I said retreaters are on the way, Poustinia huts to build in the woods and I think there is a trout in a nearby river with my name on it.
So for now, God Bless you and we hope to see you soon at
The Mary Theotokos Monastic Center in Newark VT.
"...to Jesus through Mary."