Rachel O. – Saint Maximilian Kolbe Fraternity Member "For me, each year’s Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Compassion casts new light on some aspect of the charism of Heart’s Home. I had been used to thinking of Mary at the foot of the cross as the model of Heart’s Home’s charism, but Fr. Thierry’s homily during the mass that opened the day of pilgrimage gave me a new insight: as sharers in this charism: we not only look toward Mary as model, but also to Jesus as he looks at Mary. Between those two positions, that of Jesus on the cross looking at Mary and that of Mary at the foot of the cross looking at Jesus, we shift perpetually. I was reminded that what makes each of these positions bearable, on the human level, is that neither Jesus nor Mary was alone: they accompanied one another to the end and there is human consolation, even in that. Having been at a parent’s deathbed, I recognize how much love and comfort the simple presence of another can bring, both to the sufferer and to the one who watches. Somehow this insight helps me to see the suffering Christ in a less depressing, and more fruitful way. To be on pilgrimage with Heart’s Home is to taste this redemptive fruit: from all backgrounds we prayed, sang, ate, recited the rosary, laughed, and talked together. The beautiful concert and dancing were another shared gift: thank you for the opportunity to share in this day.