As it is now a yearly tradition, on the weekend of September 15, the members of Heart’s Home and numerous friends journeyed to the Catskills to honor Our Lady of Compassion and implore her protection. This year the pilgrims came not only from Brooklyn and the Bronx, from Manhattan and Queens, but all the way from Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Arizona!
Many were the pilgrims expressing the peace, joy and ’contemplative experience’ they made. Many were those happy to discover and celebrate a new name for their Mother: Mary, Mother of Compassion.
Some quotations to enjoy:
Jason L. (Jesuit seminarian and high school teacher):
“Although I have heard a great many renditions of Schubert’s Ave Maria, Cheryl’s performance struck me because of its beauty—not only the line and phrasing and shaping of the notes but because it seemed to be coming from a deep place with an intense understanding of the meaning of each word as a word of prayer. And it struck me, again, how beauty has this power to arrest us, to pull us out of ourselves, and put us in touch with the divine. For me, listening to Cheryl sing was such a moment, especially as I pondered the meaning of those words: the angelic salutation, Elizabeth’s cry of joy at being visited by the Mother of the Lord, and the petition that we make to Mary every single time we pray—so many times throughout each day—asking her to be with us in our hour of death.”
Julian L. (Heart’s Home alumnus):
“The pilgrimage was a great way for me to give thanks for my mission in the Philippines and for Heart’s Home. It helped me to remember and pray for all the friends I met on my mission and all the patients I meet in my hospital rotations.”
Jennie and Jim T. ( Alumna’s Parents):
“Heartfelt thanks for the beautiful pilgrimage we experienced. It was such a pleasure to become acquainted with the persons who have been such an integral part of our daughter’s life these past 3 years. God brought her to Heart’s Home and gave her the gift of becoming closer to Him through you. And in doing so, we have been evermore graced by Him, too.”
Willy L. (A friend from Brooklyn)
“In the place where I live, there is a lot of violence. And I perceive now that this violence is nothing but a cry for help, a cry for the love, the beauty and peace I have experience here among you today.”
Anna T. (A friend from Queens, member of Communion and Liberation) _“I had to wake up very early to come here today. It’s just a very little sacrifice offered to Our Lady who gives me the hundredth fold. This pilgrimage has been a real encounter with Her.”
Ray (Member of Heart’s Home Youth Group)
“Every time I come to this place, I go back feeling much better and renewed. Heart’s Home has indeed become my second family.”
Cheryl M. (Frat. St. Maximilien Kolbe Member):
“Again this year I had the honor of singing Schubert’s Ave Maria in front of Our Lady of Compassion. The experience was so overwhelming as I felt Our Lady singing through me, out over the people before me, through the Catskill Mountains and reaching with her grace out over the planet. I also watched while playing the guitar, as Her Children came forward with their rose and heartfelt intentions. It was so very moving. A very lovely, blessed Day of Pilgrimage. ”