Divine Mercy Sunday 2014
Monsignor James Lisante will be the principal celebrant at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy's annual Divine Mercy Sunday celebration on April 27, in Stockbridge, Mass., announced Shrine Rector Fr. Ken Dos Santos, MIC.
The Solemn Liturgy, beginning at 1 p.m., is, of course, the highpoint of a weekend-long celebration that will include a conference, music, prayer, and opportunities for confession.
The Marians are expecting a large crowd. Last year's celebration drew some 23,000 pilgrims.
If you can't make it to the Shrine for Divine Mercy Sunday, don't worry! You also can view the celebration live on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) on April 27. The broadcast begins at noon (EST).
Monsignor Lisante is pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park, N.Y., and a regular presenter at the Marian Fathers' Bronx Conference. Long active in the popular media, he has hosted several national television programs, including Personally Speaking and Christopher Close-Up.
Both the Sunday liturgy and the Vigil Mass at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, will be celebrated on Eden Hill at the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine.
On Saturday morning, the Marian Fathers will host their annual Mercy Weekend Conference. This year's theme is "Saints John XXIII and John Paul II: Celebrating the Mercy Popes." Speakers include Msgr. James P. Moroney, rector of St. John's Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston, and Deacon Chris Alar, MIC, a Marian seminarian who will be ordained to the priesthood on May 31.
The conference will run from 10 a.m. to noon at the First Congregational Church, 4 Main Street in Stockbridge, just down the hill from the National Shrine. General admission is $20 (bag lunch included). Admission is free for members of the 13th of the Month Club, Friends of Mercy, and the Holy Souls Sodality. To register, please call 1-800-671-2020 or go online. The deadline to register online is April 16.
On Saturday and Sunday, tents will be set up on Eden Hill for Eucharistic Adoration, confession, presentations, Masses and enrollments, candle lighting, and a gift shop.
One highlight of the weekend will be the prayer banner composed of thousands of pieces of cloth, each one bearing a Marian Helper's prayer intention. Each year, there's a different "theme" for the banner, which ties into the Divine Mercy Sunday celebration. This year's theme is "Mercy United, 2014." The centerpiece of the banner will feature an image of John Paul II and John XXIII with the Divine Mercy in the background.
Mud. Rain. Snow. Sun. They are potential elements of the unpredictable spring in the beautiful Berkshires. Pilgrims are advised to dress in layers. Wear comfortable shoes that have traction, and don't forget rain gear.
As always, we encourage the faithful to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday in their own local parishes, since it is a universal feast day in the Church. If you don't have a special Divine Mercy observance locally, consider asking your pastor to begin one. The Marians have resources that can help, including Celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday in Your Parish: A Practical Guide. Call 1-800-462-7426 for more information.
About 650 volunteers are needed for the weekend. Those interested in volunteering for any part of the weekend can call 413-298-1114 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Saturday, April 26
8 a.m. — Holy Mass-National Shrine
9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. — Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament-Adoration Tent. At 2:45, there will be a procession to the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine.
10 a.m. — Divine Mercy Conference: "Saints John XXIII and John Paul II: Celebrating the Mercy Popes" held at First Congregational Church of Stockbridge. Speakers will include Monsignor James P. Moroney, rector of St. John's Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston and our own Fr. Jim McCormack, MIC, Prefect of Formation and Novice Master for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.
3 p.m. — Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet, Exposition of and
Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament, Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine
4 p.m. — Vigil Mass, Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine
Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27
9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. — Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Adoration Tent
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Music and spiritual presentations, recitation of the Rosary, Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine
1 p.m. — Solemn Liturgy will be celebrated by Monsignor James Lisante, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park, N.Y., Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine
3 p.m. — Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet; Exposition of and Benediction with the Most Blessed Sacrament; blessing of religious articles and water, Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine
On Saturday and Sunday, confessions will be heard from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., tents for enrollments and Masses will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the food court will serve starting at 8 a.m. Gift shop tents will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. (The gift shop will be closed on Monday, April 28.)
The votive candle tent will be open from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Sunday, while Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto and Immaculate Conception Candle Shrine will be open all day.
For up-to-date information, visit the Shrine website, call (413) 298-1118, or e-mail email@example.com.