The sacred smell of incense filled the air at Mission’s Fraser Heritage Park as the annual Pilgrimage to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes was held Aug. 18.
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, was the principal celebrant for the 1 p.m. Mass. The event, organized by St. Joseph’s Parish in Mission, has become the largest annual celebration in the archdiocese.
During the homily, Archbishop Miller discussed how Mary’s assumption into heaven was a unique privilege. He examined the intimate bond that Jesus had with his mother, which continued throughout both their lives to the point where her body was saved from the corruption of the grave.
“When Mary fell asleep in this world she awoke, we could say, in heaven,” Archbishop Miller told the crowd.
“God gave her a full measure, a full share of the destiny of Jesus.”
From the Assumption, Catholics can know two
things, the archbishop said: the first is that our ultimate home
is with God and our life’s pilgrimage will take us there.
“Death is not the end but the entrance into a life that knows no end.”
The second lesson for Catholics regarding Mary’s destiny is the plans that God has for the human body.
The body “has a dignity that was meant for eternity.”
Catholics can also take comfort in Mary’s company during their journey, he said.
“Because she is raised in glory and lives with God and in God, she can be close to us,” Archbishop Miller said.
“She is the mother who listens to us, is close to us, and takes us by the hand.”
Felisa Quimada has been attending the
pilgrimage for about 18 years and said she liked that it was so close to her
Vancouver home. She added that little had changed over the years.
“Every Rosary they used to take one balloon and float it up,” she noted, referring to a balloon display in the shape of a Rosary set up in front of the Grotto.
Marcelino Mocon has been attending for about 10 years and this year, as a member of Couples for Christ, he and his wife were singing at the event.
“We are devotees of Our Lady. We believe in her intercession. We pray for her. We say the Rosary. My parents are devotee of Our Lady too. We just believe in her role as the mother of our Lord, and he is the best example of a servant because he is the first servant of the Lord.”
After Mass at the gazebo, the crowd processed up the hill to the grotto, the oldest Marian shine in B.C. Pilgrims recited the Hail Mary during the pilgrimage, which took about 30 minutes to move from the park to the top of the hill.
The pilgrimage is held on or around the Feast of the Assumption and usually draws about 3,000 people.
Why a 1988 papal letter is relevant to women in 2019
A papal letter published three decades ago is still as timely today as it was back then, say a group of women studying St. John...
Too many women told abortion is their 'best option'
It was 2015 when Sangah, a registered nurse from Korea, came to Vancouver to pursue further studies in nursing. Alone in a new...
Friends of Jesuits put the spirit in spirituality at scotch tasting
Spirited conversation filled the Saint John Paul II Pastoral Centre during the third annual Jesuit Scotch Tasting May 28. About...
Church in crisis needs its laity: speakers at new St. Mark’s centre
Abuse victims have suffered, priests have been found guilty, and faithful Catholics have seriously questioned their faith in...
Conference offers men the tools to battle evil
Writing more than a century ago, the great English essayist and Catholic apologist G.K. Chesterton observed, “Evil always wins...
Hundreds gather to support seminary
More than 400 people showed their support for Vancouver’s Redemptoris Mater Seminary by turning out for a fundraiser May 3. The...
Couples celebrate 4,800 years of marriage at St. Paul's
When Victor and Esther Jacinto married mid-way through their university studies at age 20, their family members didn’t think it...