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Like Spring after a Hard Winter
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Fr. Aaron Smith LC hopes Marian pilgrimage will unite local RC family and reveal “beauty that is to come”

Our Lady of Consolation Shrine pilgrimage
Fr. Aaron Smith LC (right) walks in procession with a group carrying the image of Our Lady of Consolation at the Carey, Ohio, shrine.

Like spring after a hard winter…

That is how Fr. Aaron Smith LC describes his hopes for an upcoming May 4, 2014, pilgrimage with the members of the Great Lakes locality.

“I am hoping this pilgrimage will be an RC family event,” he said. “I’d like to see the RC family have a blessed ‘moment’ together, like spring after a hard winter that reveals the beauty that is to come.”

Fr. Aaron is the local coordinator for apostolate (LCA) for the area that he and the members of the RC movement there like to call the “Great Lakes” locality.  It includes all the RC members in the Detroit metro area and all those scattered throughout Michigan and northern Ohio as well as Fort Wayne Indiana.  He knows that overseeing such a large, widely scattered group, and creating unity among them, can be a difficult task.  So he called on a little help from Mom (and he doesn’t mean Mrs. Smith).

With assistance from several RC volunteers, Fr. Aaron is inviting all the members of the locality to join him on a special visit to the Marian shrine in Carey, Ohio, the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation (315 Clay Street).

Fr. Aaron learned about the shrine after being assigned to the US to work on the vocations road team in Ohio in 2012. He has since accompanied two groups, one from Ohio and one from metro Detroit, on pilgrimage to the Carey shrine.

His own devotion to Our Lady under this title
The Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation
The Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation
began before he came to the US, while he was still studying in Rome. Fr. Aaron served in Florence, Italy, where he was involved in the founding of the Legion and RC communities there.

“Europe has a great devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Consolation,” said Fr. Aaron.

The Legionary community house in Florence has a replica of a fresco of Our Lady of Consolation, he said, which originally had been painted in a grotto by monks who lived on the property.

The shrine in Carey, Ohio, which dates back to 1875, was created by immigrants who brought the devotion with them.  The website for the Basilica says the Carey, Ohio shrine draws “countless pilgrims” who “offer prayers of thanks” and “to confide their needs to the Mother of God as Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted.”

The European devotion to Our Lady of Consolation dates back to the 2nd century.  She is credited with granting many favors of spiritual and physical support and healing, especially during the time of the Black Plague that ravaged the population of Luxembourg in the 17th century.  In this European town is an image of Our Lady of Consolation in a small chapel, and the Basilica in Carey has a replica of that statue.

Fr. Aaron is hopeful that many RC members will join him for the pilgrimage, which will include Mass and afterwards, a picnic in nearby Shrine Park with lots of fun, family activities. The agenda and more information follow:

Marian Pilgrimage to Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio

Date:  Sunday, May 4, 2014 (2nd Sunday of Easter)                                                Schedule:  (Eastern Time)
Confessions:  9:45 am
Mass:  10:30 am (in
The OLC shrine lower altar
Mass will be celebrated on May 4, 2014, in the lower basilica of the shrine.
Lower Basilica)
Lunch:  Noon (families bring their own food to “grill” and share)
Activities: 1:00-1:30 pm (Youth activities, adult integration/relaxation)
Devotions: 2:30 pm

Cost:  $20 per family (children are welcome) to cover the donation to the shrine and other expenses.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Kelly Luttinen (Michigan) at kluttinen@arcol.org or Sara Blalock (Ohio, Indiana) at casblalock@gmail.com.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2014-03-11


 
 


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