Friday, May 22, 2009

Salesian Marian Shrine

My sisters and I went on another pilgrimage yesterday on the Feast of the Ascension. We went to a Marian Shrine and Don Bosco Retreat Center in Stony Point, New York, in beautiful Rockland County. The Shrine is approximately 30 miles from the George Washington Bridge.

We arrived close to noon and many people were filing into the Chapel for Mass. Since we had already been to Mass we used that time to walk around the grounds.

We saw the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes first and then the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.

A little further down the road we came to Becchi House. Becchi House is the replica of the house where St. Don John Bosco was born and grew up. We also climbed the steps into the hayloft. We were able to see the replicas of little "Johnny" Bosco bedroom and also of his parents.

We then continue on our little walk until one my sisters indicated that we would be seeing something incredible. All of a sudden we came about a gigantic statue of Our Lady of the Rosary.

It was high noon at that time so there was virtually no shade. We wanted to pray the Rosary near this particular statue. Wouldn't you know it, our dear lady provided us with a little area of shade and we comfortably prayed the Luminous Mysteries with our Lady of the Rosary towering over us.

It was around 1pm so we backtracked in order to find a map of the shrine's grounds. Mass had just ended. We asked a gentlemen about Confession. He mentioned Confession was before Mass. Not to be one to give up so easily, one of my sisters suggested going to the front of the the Chapel. Well, there was a priest who still had his vestments on. We introduced ourselves to Fr. "Bill". He welcomed us so very warmly and told us a little about the shrine. He was also more than happy to hear our confessions.

Later on, we went on to find the book shop. I thought it was going to be a little one with just a few items. We were in for a very pleasant surprise. Their book and gift shop was lovely and large. It contained many items such as cards, holy cards, statues, t-shirts, books, Mystic Monk coffee and many other sacred items. We spend quite a while there.

Everyone was very friendly and we enjoyed our day immensely.

Of course, we also had to thank our Lady for making sure we had lovely weather. The sky was clear blue and the day was comfortably warm.

The only downside was that our mother came down with a cold.

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