Written by: Denise Serafini on Saturday, February 06, 2016
The National Shrine of Divine Mercy hosted our inaugural event today. I am so pleased to be able to share my thoughts on this presentation of the relics because of the level of engaged participation and reverence that pervaded the program as well as veneration. I was also truly amazed by the number of children that attended. The more than 600 faithful in attendance came from towns in Massachusetts close by to the shrine as well as from New Jersey, West Hartford and other towns in Connecticut, as well as from the Archdiocese of Albany and cities as far east as Ipswich and Boston.
The main chapel was full to overflowing. The lower level with closed circuit broadcast of the activities in the main church assured that no one was left out. The one regret I have is that the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal that were in attendance didn't have the opportunity to venerate the relics. Although they tried, the timing of their activities for the day and the long line for veneration deterred them from getting through to the front of the church. Since we have a customized program for priests, perhaps Divine Providence will create the occasion for the Apostolate to provide a private presentation at one of their friaries in New York or New Jersey. We would be honored to have that opportunity.
The Apostolate was supported by a number of members from my prayer group that have been consistently at the ready to help with any of the presentations that we do and the shrine staff was incredibly helpful and supportive. I can't thank them enough. Father Anthony Gramlich, MIC, Rector for the National Shrine of Divine Mercy, joined us in the presentation, incensing the relics and leading the prayers for each meditation. Brother John Luth and Father Michael were also key in helping with veneration. These fine men of the Church are available every day at the shrine to participate in conveying the message of God's Mercy in service to the many pilgrims that visit the shrine. I am genuinely grateful for all of the support and encouragement they have provided for the Relics of the Passion program. Managing the time table and coordination that is required to assure that all the people had the opportunity for personal veneration in conjunction with all of the other activities that make up the daily shrine schedule is no small feat. They did a marvelous job of it.
I'd also like to extend our personal words of thanks to the musicians that provided the fruits of their gifts in leading the musical interludes and accompanying pieces that make up the program. They truly help to enhance the meditative experience that we strive to achieve in our Relics of the Passion presentation.