As I write this month’s newsletter, my family and I have just returned from our vacation where we were able to withdraw from the world for a couple weeks. Along with visits to amusement parks, beaches and partaking of many natural wonders, we were blessed to be able to integrate a pilgrimage into our vacation time.
Our first visit was to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wisconsin. This simple shrine, the location of the only approved Marian apparition in the United States, we experienced a peaceful, prayerful time. I was reminded of the help that we have available to us in the intercession of the Blessed Mother, for both our personal needs and those of our nation and the world. Her message to us was, and is, “Do not be afraid, I will help you.”
A few days later, we attended Sunday mass as the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill in Hubertus Wisconsin. Again, I was deeply touched by the beauty of the church and the knowledge that our prayers are heard and answered. A number of providential selections of words in the homily and in the music demonstrated the care and help that we receive.
Lastly we attended the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse (again Wisconsin), and were astounded at the beauty of the Shrine and the grounds. Written in the stone work were the words of the Blessed Mother to St. Juan Diego in Spanish, “Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection?”
Also at the site was the Memorial to the Unborn. From Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, “The Memorial to the Unborn eloquently expresses the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe: God’s all-merciful love toward all of His children from the moment of their conception. Even as God Himself chose to be conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, as the first moment of His greatest act of love of us, so He has taught us the inviolable dignity of all human life. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and the Star of the New Evangelization, is, in a particular way, the Mother of the Unborn.”
As we returned from our vacation and plugged back into the world, the news of the scandals associated with Planned Parenthood has brought the horrible practices of this organization to light again, and prompted calls to end taxpayer funding. Let us pray to Our Lady of Good Help, the Help of Christians, whose appearance in Guadalupe led to the conversion of millions and the end of child sacrifice of the Aztecs, for the conversion of hearts and souls in our country and world, and the end of abortion.
We have great hope in our Mother’s intercession and the power of her Son. Let us act upon it.