by Shirley Figueroa-Lascano
What is a pilgrimage? Is there any benefit from going to one? What does one get out of it?
Among Catholics, we believe that our life on Earth is temporary. And as such, we are pilgrims. We are pilgrims on a journey which ends when we meet Our Creator in an eternal home established for each of us.
As pilgrims, we travel far and wide to be a part of our faith together with a community of believers. The Diocese of Brooklyn took a pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. It is quite a privilege every two years to take part in this biennial diocesan pilgrimage.
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Filipino Association of St. Michael have as their devotion, the image of the Lady of the Holy Rosary, La Naval. Her devotees had began last year, at St. Michael Church in Flushing, a perpetual novena devotion of praying the rosary. Their devotion has now spread to Christ the King Church in Springfield Gardens. An image of the Lady of the Rosary has been at the Christ the King Church for the month of October thanks to Odette Jones, Rosary Society president, and Father Jeffry T. Dillon, pastor. This pilgrimage is a culmination of our month-long celebration of the Holy Rosary!
At the same time, the Adult Formation Group of Christ the King had began their study about Our Blessed Mother. It is called, Mary: A Blessed Walk With the Blessed Mother.
The group had learned the many foreshadowings in the life of Mary. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s homily at the national shrine mentioned Mary’s Queenship in parallel to the one of Esther in the first reading.
This is exactly what Our Blessed Mother Mary is all of us! She is our intercession to her Son, Jesus. Her Assumption to Heaven gave her the throne closest to her Son. Her coronation title as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, gives us a window into her Son’s mercy. Her title of the Immaculate Conception is clearly a testament of her two fiats: when she said “yes” to becoming the Mother of the Savior of the world, and her presence following the Resurrection of her Son.
Clearly, we are blessed with Bishop DiMarzio. We appreciate his recognition of the diversity of the flock in our diocese. He is a good shepherd to us all!
The participation of the different languages in the recitation of the Joyful Mysteries in English, Polish, Italian, Tagalog and Korean, just a sampling of the ethnicity of our diocese.
I would like to recognize the opportunity given to the lay men and women, who were given the task of bringing with them to the altar the many prayer petitions. I give credit to Father John O’Connor for involving so many in the celebration of the liturgy. Thanks also to our auxiliary bishops Bishops James Massa, Raymond Chappetto and Witold Mroziewski and all the priests, seminarians and deacons who accompanied us on our journey.