St. Remy Pilgrimage: The Many Faces of Mary

“The time to pray, laugh, learn, relax, and be together.”

“Having quiet time at one of the churches to just pray and be silent together.”

“Ability to learn about the churches and shrines in our area – Priceless!”

“Having the time to reflect and pray after the talks. Also, connecting with the group and having the time to get to know each other and spending time together.”

These are just a few of the comments from St. Remy educators about this year’s annual pilgrimage "The Many Faces of Mary."

The annual 2½ day pilgrimage has become one of the highlights of each St. Remy year. This year the “pilgrims” began by traveling via motor coach to Bellevue, Ohio, to visit the Sorrowful Mother Shrine. This shrine, operated by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, is a powerful place of prayer where “God and nature touch.” The Remyans attended Mass in the beautiful Sorrowful Mother Chapel and then enjoyed the wildflowers and flower beds mingled in the 120 acres of woods and lawns. Priests visited with the group as they explored the many grottoes, gardens, and Stations of the Cross in the woods.

The pilgrimage continued to Maria Stein, Ohio, where Remyans toured three area churches, all with the theme of Mary, to learn the fascinating histories of each church and parish. A special session presented by Mary scholar, Dr. Ann McGuire, entitled “Many Faces of Mary,” was rich with both historical and religious background about some of the many expressions of Mary through art.

The pilgrims also participated in a self-guided Marian Prayer and Pilgrimage on the grounds of the Relic Chapel at Maria Stein. A highlight of the trip was a visit to the Relic Chapel itself, which hosts a collection of 945 reliquaries and 1,175 relics (as of October, 2002). Ninety-five percent of the relics in the Maria Stein collection are first class relics; that is, they are from the body of the saint (usually part of a bone). Maria Stein Relic Chapel is the second largest collection of relics open for veneration by the public in the United States.

Amid the prayer and reflection, there were also many moments of fun, laughter, and even a stop at a well-known ice cream store. The real beauty of the pilgrimage is that it is planned by the members of St. Remy and is always a time of great community building – the perfect way to start a new school year!

Pilgrimage photos