April 26, 2019
Dear Friends of St. Anne’s Shrine,
I am writing to you during the Easter Octave which is the 8 days following Easter Sunday. It is a beautiful week as we continue to celebrate the Easter liturgy everyday singing the Gloria and chanting “alleluia, alleluia” after the dismissal at each Mass. We hear various Gospel stories of the risen Jesus appearing to his disciples who are in despair, confused and in fear.
Mary Magdalene, the first to proclaim the Lord’s resurrection, continues as a central character weeping and conversing with a supposed "Gardner". Her tears of sorrow are transformed to tears of joy when the risen Jesus calls her by name. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus are also in a desperate state as they walk “downcast.” In the breaking of the bread by a “stranger” they discover the risen Lord in their midst and they run back to the Upper Room to share the news. Finally, Jesus appears on the beach while his disciples are in a boat fishing as he prepares breakfast for them and the intimate dialogue with Peter takes place with Jesus asking him three times “Do you love me?” followed by the mandate to “Feed my sheep.” These stories give us hope in the resurrection and reassure us of Christ’s presence in our lives today.
We have the benefit this year to open the Shrine in the middle of the Easter season on the weekend of May 18-19 with 7:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday night and 10:30 a.m. Mass Sunday morning. Our staff members have been busy making necessary preparations in order to open the 2019 Pilgrimage Season. New saints’ statues and grottos have been purchased while old ones repaired. Interior painting and deck maintenance have been performed on the Boucher Building. The grounds took a beating from many storms with strong winds which severely damaged trees and branches, particularly in the Stations of the Cross area. We were lucky that the trees that fell down did not hit any of our new memorial benches. And of course, we keep an eye on the lake as it is now a half foot above flood stage and expected to rise with more rain and snow melt from the mountains.
All of these tasks and preparations strain our cash flow as we gear up to open and once again celebrate the risen Lord in our midst. Please help us get ready for the summer pilgrimage season by making a donation to assist with our efforts. Please also complete the enclosed intention form so we may remember your deceased loved ones in our Masses and prayers. We have many programs to look forward to including the 5-Day Silent retreat, the weekly reflection series on Wednesdays and the Diocesan Family Day. All we need is your financial help and pilgrims to arrive and we will be in full swing in no time.
Thank you for your generous support of this Edmundite ministry which is always conducted because of your generous financial assistance. May you continue to have Easter blessings bestowed upon you and may the Spirit of the risen Lord always be in your midst.
Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E.