North America's Largest Mercy Sunday Celebration Draws 20,000 Pilgrims

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from Marians of the Immaculate Conception

    STOCKBRIDGE, Mass., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 North America's largest Mercy Sunday celebration drew an estimated 20,000
 pilgrims to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy on April 22, as the Roman
 Catholic Church marked the first worldwide celebration of the feast.
     Pilgrims came by car and bus from as far away as Kentucky and Quebec.
 Other pilgrims from overseas came from the Philippines, France, and South
 America. Officials say 230 buses converged on Eden Hill, home of the National
 Shrine, where Mercy Sunday has been celebrated publicly since 1979.
     Last May, at the direction of Pope John Paul II, the Holy See issued a
 decree establishing the Sunday following Easter as the "Second Sunday of
 Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday."
     The highlight of the weekend in Stockbridge was Holy Mass celebrated on
 Sunday by Archbishop James Keleher of Kansas City, Kan. Archbishop Keleher,
 who presided over the National Shrine's Mercy Sunday celebration in 1997, also
 delivered the homily.
     "All of us stand in need of forgiveness," the Archbishop said, echoing the
 central message of Divine Mercy. "Indeed, the only hope the world has for
 peace among nations and peoples is if God forgives the racism and hate and, if
 prompted by His grace, we are able to forgive one another."
     Earlier in the day, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mercy Sunday in St.
 Peter's Square in Rome. "Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift which the
 Church receives from the Risen Christ and offers to humanity, at the dawn of
 the third millennium," the Pope said. "Through the mystery of [His] wounded
 heart, the restorative flow of God's merciful love is unceasingly poured out
 upon the men and women of our epoch. Only those who desire authentic and
 lasting happiness, can find the secret."
     The celebration from Eden Hill was broadcast around the world by the
 Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). This is the 10th time EWTN has
 broadcast the event live. The network estimates that about 20 million people
 watched the program.
     Bishop Roman Andrzejewski, Auxiliary Bishop of Wloclawek, Poland,
 celebrated an earlier Mass on Sunday morning in Polish for a crowd of about
 2,000 pilgrims on Eden Hill. Bishop Andrzejewski and New York City Auxiliary
 Bishop Francisco Garmendia also concelebrated the main Mass with Archbishop
 Keleher.
     Mercy Sunday is a day of extraordinary graces promised by Christ through
 revelations granted to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a 20th century mystic.
 Mercy Sunday is celebrated by hundreds of parishes across the country and
 thousands more around the world. In 1995, 125 U.S. parishes reported
 celebrating Mercy Sunday. That number grew to 908 last year, according to the
 John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, a ministry of the Marians.
     The National Shrine is a ministry of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Province of
 the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed
 Virgin Mary. Its website is: www.marian.org.
 
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SOURCE Marians of the Immaculate Conception
    STOCKBRIDGE, Mass., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 North America's largest Mercy Sunday celebration drew an estimated 20,000
 pilgrims to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy on April 22, as the Roman
 Catholic Church marked the first worldwide celebration of the feast.
     Pilgrims came by car and bus from as far away as Kentucky and Quebec.
 Other pilgrims from overseas came from the Philippines, France, and South
 America. Officials say 230 buses converged on Eden Hill, home of the National
 Shrine, where Mercy Sunday has been celebrated publicly since 1979.
     Last May, at the direction of Pope John Paul II, the Holy See issued a
 decree establishing the Sunday following Easter as the "Second Sunday of
 Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday."
     The highlight of the weekend in Stockbridge was Holy Mass celebrated on
 Sunday by Archbishop James Keleher of Kansas City, Kan. Archbishop Keleher,
 who presided over the National Shrine's Mercy Sunday celebration in 1997, also
 delivered the homily.
     "All of us stand in need of forgiveness," the Archbishop said, echoing the
 central message of Divine Mercy. "Indeed, the only hope the world has for
 peace among nations and peoples is if God forgives the racism and hate and, if
 prompted by His grace, we are able to forgive one another."
     Earlier in the day, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mercy Sunday in St.
 Peter's Square in Rome. "Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift which the
 Church receives from the Risen Christ and offers to humanity, at the dawn of
 the third millennium," the Pope said. "Through the mystery of [His] wounded
 heart, the restorative flow of God's merciful love is unceasingly poured out
 upon the men and women of our epoch. Only those who desire authentic and
 lasting happiness, can find the secret."
     The celebration from Eden Hill was broadcast around the world by the
 Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). This is the 10th time EWTN has
 broadcast the event live. The network estimates that about 20 million people
 watched the program.
     Bishop Roman Andrzejewski, Auxiliary Bishop of Wloclawek, Poland,
 celebrated an earlier Mass on Sunday morning in Polish for a crowd of about
 2,000 pilgrims on Eden Hill. Bishop Andrzejewski and New York City Auxiliary
 Bishop Francisco Garmendia also concelebrated the main Mass with Archbishop
 Keleher.
     Mercy Sunday is a day of extraordinary graces promised by Christ through
 revelations granted to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a 20th century mystic.
 Mercy Sunday is celebrated by hundreds of parishes across the country and
 thousands more around the world. In 1995, 125 U.S. parishes reported
 celebrating Mercy Sunday. That number grew to 908 last year, according to the
 John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, a ministry of the Marians.
     The National Shrine is a ministry of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Province of
 the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed
 Virgin Mary. Its website is: www.marian.org.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X32286436
 
 SOURCE  Marians of the Immaculate Conception