Sunday, August 14, 2011

Grotto's Assumption Day schedule; endearing story of how one woman came to know Mary

Photo from Assumption Day 2009 at Assumption Grotto
See full gallery of photos here

The Feast of the Assumption is on Monday this year and while it is not a holy day of obligation in the United States, please consider getting to Mass.  There is a severe famine in Africa; a great moral decline in the world with secularism becoming the new "religion"; people are suffering in many parts of the world due to the economic problems; Christians suffering persecution and death; conversions to be made in our families and in the world around us; and, souls suffering in  Purgatory, waiting for us to pray for their release.  Hence, there are many reasons to go to Mass if you can find one, and offer your intentions. 

If you live locally, Assumption Grotto has an evening Mass at 7:00 p.m. that is held outdoors, followed by a candlelight procession, all ending around 9:30.  See the photos from the full day 2009, and the evening Mass which Archbishop Vigneron celebrated with us on his first Assumption Day at the helm in Detroit. 

Chances are you will need to park at St. Veronica's which is just over a mile away and take a shuttle.  It is very difficult to get anywhere near Assumption Grotto unless you get there really early in the morning and stay, or happen to hit an off peak time, like 4:00.  There is a spaghetti dinner going on, as well.

The complete schedule for the day at Assumption Grotto is on the homepage.  [Note: In today's Grotto News, Fr. Perrone explains that there is an error in print (and on the website) which indicates the 7:00 p.m. is a concelebrated Mass.  This is not the case.  It will be a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form out by the Grotto.

An endearing story of how one woman came to know Mary

I was going to sit down and write a nice piece about the Blessed Mother in anticipation of the Feast of the Assumption tomorrow. When I read a blogpost by Pat Gohn at Patheos, I knew there was no way to top it. So, I direct you to her post and I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day to read her very beautiful post about the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Dumping My Assumptions about Mary
Mary was assumed into heaven. Too many earthly assumptions keep us from understanding her.

I once thought Mary irrelevant.

I am ashamed to admit that when I was a younger woman I had little use for the Blessed Mother.

I was raised Catholic, but when it came to Mary and Marian devotion, my post-Vatican II religious education lacked that punch. My Protestant friends, claiming to know the Bible better than I, had little respect for Mary beyond the historical footnote as being the mother of Jesus, and I believed them. Even some Catholics I knew dismissed Mary as just too "old fashioned" for the times. Stated plainly, Mary was no feminist icon.

Even worse, I had absorbed a subtle lie: if I imitated Mary, I would become weak, passionless, and boring—the antithesis of the modern woman. Mary was an old-school relic that had nothing to do with me. Little about her life was applicable to mine.

Then I became a mother.

My first pregnancy, sadly, was a miserable experience. I was sick, overwhelmed, and sick some more. For. Nine. Months. I could barely keep my head up and go to work each day.

My theories about strength, passion, and my remarkable destiny suddenly faltered. For those months, nothing about motherhood seemed "blessed" and I simply had no confidence for the task.

Hope came in the form of a dear Catholic friend. She was farther down the mothering road than I was, and definitely more mature in her spiritual journey. And she had joy.

She saw I was adrift and needed some real mothering, and an introduction to Mary was the solution. My friend taught me how to turn to the Blessed Mother in prayer. She told me that Mary "gets" me, even if I didn't "get" her. And that Mary "gets" motherhood, and would help me do the same. I had nothing to lose, except maybe my breakfast.

My friend didn't know it, but she handed me a lifeline when she handed me a little book of Marian prayers for mothers. That first pregnancy ignited my relationship with the Blessed Mother. And with each subsequent baby, I related to her more and more.

Go read the rest of Pat's beautiful story: Dumping My Assumptions about Mary

Additional reading (this list will be updated early tomorrow morning if there is something from the Holy Father):

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
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