|The door of St. Francis Friary in |
Nearly seven years ago, when Mary was just eight-years-old, she and I had just learned the Divine Mercy Chaplet while attending a Roses for Our Lady holy hour for vocations at St. Francis de Sales Seminary where the prayer is regularly chanted. Mary was charmed by the chant and days later I would find her carrying our family crucifix around the living room and singing "For the sake of the sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world." I thought that we could both use some practice praying this beautiful prayer that was new to us so we decided to have a special mother/daughter afternoon together searching for sea glass on Lake Michigan, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet together, and topping the day off with a visit to an ice cream parlor, or as Mary said, "All things Catholic!"
Since the seminary is directly across the street from sea glass beach, we planned a walk through the seminary woods to the Marian grotto to pray the chaplet after sea glassing. Mary had been walking in front of me and as we turned the corner to reach the grotto I heard Mary gasp with joy and then she started running to the grotto. When I caught up to her I saw the reason for her happiness-our friend, Bishop Donald Hying, (then still Fr. Don) was sitting on a bench in the grotto praying the rosary. He stayed and prayed the chaplet with us, making it an extra special prayer. I wrote a poem about that special day here.
Earlier this month, when Divine Mercy Sunday came and I found that for the first time ever we didn't have other plans that kept us from celebrating this day, I wanted to do something special and was so grateful that Mary could join me in the celebration. The weather was unusually warm and windy as we made the forty minute drive to the Franciscan Friary in Burlington. We had never been there before but a friend of ours had told us that Bishop Hying, who is now the Bishop of Gary, Indiana, would be presiding at Mass there and since we hadn't seen our favorite bishop in quite a few months we thought this would be a beautiful opportunity to pray with him. At the time I hadn't really considered the fact that he had been an important part of my daughter and I first learning the Divine Mercy Chaplet all those years ago.
|The Friary grounds|
The day was perfect, rounded out with the kept promise of powerful prayer for some special priests as well as finding many good friends who had also made the trip to the Friary for the special afternoon. How sweet is the mercy of the Lord, allowing moments of reminiscing and friendship to be a part of potent and jubilant prayer and bringing joy to the hearts of mothers and their daughters!
Jesus, I trust in you!
|The Twelfth Station of the Cross-Jesus Dies on the Cross|
|The Marian Grotto|
|The First Glorious Mystery at the grotto-The Resurrection|
|The Portiuncula of St. Francis|
|St. Francis of Assisi in the Portiuncula|
|The beautiful altar inside the church-see St. Francis helping Jesus down from the cross?|
|Bishop Hying blesses the image of Divine Mercy|