“With Burning Hearts Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow”

St. John Eudes Parish was founded on May 14, 1963, by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to serve the needs of the growing Roman Catholic community in the northwest San Fernando Valley. The founding pastor, Rev. Philip Grill, was commissioned by Cardinal McIntyre to begin fundraising and to purchase land for a church and school.  Today, as we celebrate our 50th year, our parish has grown to over 3,700 families and continues to fulfill the mission for which it was founded. (Learn more about us.)

We celebrated our 50th “Golden” Anniversary because we have much to celebrate!  We had a number of special events to celebrate our 50th Anniversary - such as an Oktoberfest, Winetasting Party, a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, our Jubilee Mass & Dinner Celebration, and our Summer Carnival. And we finished off our anniversary events with a special 50th Anniversary Pilgrimage to the Places of St. John Eudes. Our Golden Anniversary was a great opportunity to celebrate our parish, and we certainly did!

Reflections on Our 50th Anniversary

“Our 50th Anniversary” by Fr. Gérard Lecomte, CJM

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”  Luke 24: 30-32

Yes, we have now arrived at our Golden Anniversary Celebration.  50 years!  When we listen to parishioners tell of their personal experiences at our parish it is impossible not to feel how much their hearts, and ours, are burning with admiration and love for our church.  Our youth groups have expressed this love with the logo they printed on their official t-shirts.  They are particularly proud of being able to express their faith with the symbol of the heart.  Many of us do not wear a heart on our t-shirts, but we feel the same. 

We should be very appreciative of our 50th Anniversary Committee.  For one and a half years they have been gathering, planning, organizing, reading archives, and creating the wonderful banners that have been on display and that we will carry during our celebration.  The members of this committee have a long history of commitment to St. John Eudes Church.  They work and give their time, talent, and treasure because they know Jesus and Mary.   As pastor of our beloved parish I feel honored to have spent time with them.  They know “nothing in all creation will be able to separate them from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans  8:38-39).  Knowing this gave them the spirit to make our celebration a reality and to give of themselves to help continue to build a community of Catholics able to spread the Gospel. 

Our parish has gone through these 50 years along with changes in U.S. society, changes in our local demographics, and the return to the sources of our faith through the Second Vatican Council.  In 1963, the year we were founded, the first documents of Vatican II were published.  They included the famous first constitution “Sacrosantum Concilium” on the Liturgy and “Inter Mirifica”, the Decree on the Means of Social Communication.  We have been good disciples following the steps of our apostles gathered in Rome.  How many among us could have imagined how this decree was prophetic about our present day situation!  We were born out of the Council and we have become experts in living this renewal through all these past 50 years!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me  the crown of righteousness,  which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day ‒ and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.  2 Timothy 4:7-8

Now it is time to renew the flame of our burning hearts to assure we continue the mission of Christ for all following generations.  The world needs the Light of Christ.  We must face the challenges and opportunities of the next 50 years with one unequivocal goal:  To continue to build a Christ centered community with a strengthened vision of an open and cooperative parish, united in a common purpose, and one which will call us to exceptional leadership, fortify our capacity to meet changing needs, and forge in us the willingness to let Jesus live and reign in our souls.   And thus, through the example of our patron, St. John Eudes, we will serve Christ and his Church.

“50 Years, by the Grace of God” by Fr. Carlos Valencia, CJM

The birth of St. John Eudes parish happened in a very beautiful and providential ecclesial framework: 1963 was the year of the Constitution “Sacrosanctum Conciliun” on the Sacred Liturgy, and the Decree “Inter Mirifica,” on Social Media, of the Second Vatican Council.  If we properly understand the Signs of the Times, and that in God’'s plan there are no coincidences, because “everything is Grace”, the parish was then born is called, on the one hand, to celebrate the perfect worship to God the Father, by means of Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit, so that this cult expresses deep convictions, and matures by the powerful and effective action of the Holy Spirit.  On the other hand, St. John Eudes parish is called to use all means at its disposal to bring all brothers to the light and the power of the Gospel, and spare no effort to renew itself each day and to evangelize "with new methods, new ardor and new expression,” in the words of Blessed John Paul II.

The 50th Anniversary of St. John Eudes parish is a wonderful opportunity to be THANKFUL for God's tenderness, kindness and mercy, which have never failed, as providential fulfillment of the words of the Gospel according to Matthew, “I am with you all the days, until the end of time” (Mt 28, 20).  Thanks to all PIONEERS who have always been there, putting their grain of sand and vivifying a work that belongs to God (cf. Acts 5, 38-39), and that has not gone away, even with the terrible 1994 earthquake.  Thanks to all the benefactors who have given what they are and what they have for this work of God and the Church.  Thanks to all the simple, humble and silent people, that even from anonymity accompanied the birth, growth and development of this work.  In a word, THANKS to all parishioners for their dedication and service.

The 50th Anniversary of the parish is an special time for OPENING THE MIND AND HEART, to God, who always calls us to be brothers and to build the church, but also an opportunity to be open to all people of all races, colors, nationalities and cultures plainly following the evangelical mind, as clearly expressed by Saint Paul: “there is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, man nor woman, for you all are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3: 28).  It is a fact that our current St. John Eudes parish consists of different ethnic groups, and that the Gospel calls us always to include, never to exclude.  Who includes, enriches, but who excludes, impoverishes.

Finally, this 50th Anniversary is an opportunity like no other to LOOK FORWARD.  The question is: What parish do we want?  We cannot forget that this is the only parish that has the name of “St. John Eudes” in the United States.  St. John Eudes has the answer to this crucial question: We want a parish composed of people who “continue and complete the work of Jesus”.  This can be achieved by forming good workers of the Gospel, “who are docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and who want to prepare themselves with dedication and perseverance.” 

“We Are 50 - St. John Eudes Parish Through the Decades” by Ellen Abbene
(as presented at the Golden Jubilee Dinner on May 11, 2013)

We are 50!

Fifty Years is a lifetime,
Or perhaps it is half a lifetime.
Compared to the oldest parish in America,
Fifty Years is young.
Compared to Infinity, Fifty Years is a spark,
Or a breath, or a sprinkle of rain.
St. John Eudes Parish
Has reached a golden mark.

We are 50!

Look around:
The altar, the pews, the classrooms,
The field, the halls, the plaza, 
The places that gather us in faith
To embrace His teachings. 
Look again:
The faces, the eyes, the hands,
The hearts, the souls, the voices,
The people that gather in faith
To live His teachings.

We are 50!

St. John Eudes had a passion for teaching
The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary:
“this word Heart is used
to signify the memory …
it denotes the understanding
by which we make holy meditation …
it expresses the free will…”

We are 50!

Our free will – akin to His will
Brings us to this time and place.
Time to remember and cherish the past;
Time to wonder at the work of our hands;
Time to smile at the fun that we’ve had;
Time to be grateful for God’s given grace;
Time to celebrate in this Holy space.

We are 50!

Some of us were here at the beginning. 
Some of us arrived yesterday. 
It matters not. 
Are you one hundred years old?
Or one hour old? Are you somewhere in between?
It matters not.
You are here. You are family. You are welcome.
You are loved.

May 14, 1963
The Birth of the Parish

An April breeze brushed across the ten-acre parcel of dirt and weeds, sending dust specks skyward.  Chatsworth, California, 1963.  Far above the earthly swirl of air, beyond the atmosphere, further than the end of the universe, St. John Eudes looked down at the empty patch of land.  He had been a French priest devoted to the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a teacher of priests, a prominent humanitarian, an accomplished spiritual writer. He had been proclaimed “Saint” twenty seven years earlier, by Pope Pius XI. St. John Eudes looked down, with grace and wisdom and love, at the northwest corner of Mason Ave. and Lassen St. Here, his legacy of parish missionary work was beginning anew, three hundred and thirty years after it kindled in his own pure heart.

“Who is he?’  Excited, yet befuddled, Father Philip Grill, assistant pastor at Our Lady of the Valley in Canoga Park, was on the phone with the Chancery Office of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Six days before had marked Fr. Grill’s twentieth year of priesthood. Then, on April twenty seventh, he was named the pastor of a new parish, with a patron saint whom he had never heard of.  There was no reason, nor time, for Fr. Grill to worry about this discrepancy.  Two weeks later, a letter announced the founding of the parish. Within a month Sunday Mass was being celebrated at Rancho San Antonio, through the generosity of the Holy Cross Brothers.  Winds of change were set in motion, to bring the timeless teachings of St. John Eudes to the parched earth of the San Fernando Valley.

“He has given us His Father to be our Father, making us children of the very Father of Whom He is the Son. He has given us His Holy Spirit to be our own spirit, and to teach, rule, and conduct us in all things. He has given us His holy Mother to be our Mother; He has given us His angels and saints to protect us and to intercede for us; and He has given us everything else in heaven and on earth for our use and our needs.” - St. John Eudes

Building the Foundations –The First Decade

What are the elements of building?  First there is purpose.  His Eminence James Francis Cardinal McIntyre gave the parish purpose: to serve the spiritual needs of the growing West Valley.  He pointed out a heavenly advocate, St. John Eudes, and earthly leader, Fr. Grill, who told his flock, “During the weeks ahead we shall get to know each other better and better as we work together for the development of the parish.”
Then there is planning. Meetings, meetings and more meetings as the parish took shape. Each must have started with a prayer of thanks, a request for guidance, and ended with a view of progress, hope for the next meeting and the future. Perhaps someone volunteered to bring refreshments. 
Next comes fundraising.  On a Sunday in January of 1964, Ron Nash and Leonard Daly launched the Pledge Drive that would raise the money needed to build.   It doesn’t matter how much money that was, because – it was ENOUGH.  The people were going from nothing to something, together, side by side, each to their own ability, giving back of the gifts God gave them. It was more than enough, and it wasn’t all work. In August the First Annual Parish Picnic gave pause to consider the many other “firsts” that would come in the years ahead.

Then there is construction.  It began with a groundbreaking, Fr. Grill and parishioners wielding a golden shovel that would be used again, decades later. It was July Fourth, the day of fireworks, ice cream and independence; a perfect day to declare that the tabernacle would stand in the place of an empty sandlot.

On October sixteenth, 1967 there stood the church, finished and ready. This wasn’t exactly on schedule. The plan was for a resplendent opening Mass on Palm Sunday, but nature (heavy rain) and politics (industry strikes) caused delays. No matter, as the people entered the new church for the first time, the Heart of the parish swelled, standing on, surrounded by and covered with a foundation of love.

“Thou dost call us unceasingly: Redite, praevaricatores, ad cor. ‘Return, ye transgressors, to the heart,’ which means to My Heart that is all yours, since I have given it entirely to you. Return to that most loving Heart of your Father, which is full of love and mercy for you, which will receive you home, heaping upon you blessings. “ - St. John Eudes

Learning and Teaching – The Second Decade

Knock and it shall be opened to you.  Say the word and my soul shall be healed.  Seek and you shall find. Ask and you shall receive. Give to God, what belongs to God. The greatest of these is Love. The faith was being shared in the church and school. Sparks of learning were spreading quickly, barely contained – not unlike walls of flame that sometimes consumed encrusted Valley foothills during fire season.  This blaze of knowledge was greatly driven by women of the parish – hearts burning within – who served as teachers, administrators and social lifelines. The arenas were distinct yet connected: Religious Education, Parish School, Spanish Ministry, and Women’s Guilds; there were many helpers, both on earth and on high.

Paula Montal, the second parish patron, had founded schools for girls in Spain beginning in 1829, and practicing her belief: “I want to save families teaching children the love of God.” Even before the church was completed, her followers: Pious School Sisters Gladys, Adoration, Beatrice and Laura, arrived at St. John Eudes to teach her credo. Pope John Paul would not name their beloved “Mother Paula” a saint until the next century, noting then: “Her charisma . . . was a statement of love and hope, especially for women.” In 1974 the reality of Montal’s legacy radiated through the arid skies of Chatsworth as the “Pioneer Class” graduated from the school, the first group that had started in first grade and graduated eighth grade.

The same year, Fr. Grill began the devotion to a third parish advocate, Our Lady the Virgin of Guadalupe, dedicating the image he brought from her shrine in Mexico City.  This laid the tile that would be heaped with fruits of the Spirit flowing over the community.  Spanish Masses, Spanish Religious Education, feast days and celebrations grew from a prayer group that began in 1977 with Fr. Grill’s blessing. Mrs. Raquel Crow, with a few others, met each Wednesday and soon found support from Pious School Religious – Sisters Guadalupe Gonzalez, Encarnacion Alvarez;  Fathers. Joaquin Hereu, Ramon Ferrer, Antonio Tort and others.

The church, classrooms, homes were filled with faith, hope and love. In the Men’s Council, Holy Name Society, and Knights of Columbus the men continued planning, digging and building. A trinity of parish advocates: St. John Eudes, Paula Montal, Our Lady of Guadalupe, was complete.

“The truths with which God enlightens our minds, and by the consideration of which we are moved to serve and to love Him, have an incomparably greater power of inflaming our hearts than have those which we derive solely from books without having meditated and pondered upon them before God. There is almost as much difference between these two sets of truths as there is between well-cooked and well-seasoned dishes and those that are totally unprepared." - St. John Eudes

Milestones – The Third Decade

The parish was moving along.  It was humming.  There was some time now for everyone to breathe in deeply with satisfaction; thankful for what had been accomplished. No one really thought that the job was done . . . but the pace of work eased.  They could look around a bit and enjoy the view, along with the company.

The view of the parish now included the school (and flagpole), church, convent, parish center and rectory.  But the company of the parish would fit only in the open athletic field in order to celebrate the 25th Anniversary Mass all together.

This was a parish milestone, an anniversary, an event, an achievement. It was – an occasion!  Father Grill wrote, “For the past twenty-five years, I have been grateful for the zealous Catholics among whom God has given me the privilege of working.  I know that you have been a powerful influence on my spiritual growth.  I hope that I have made some little influence on you.” Yes. Influencing a love of being a community, blessed with physical and spiritual gifts; and also challenged with physical and spiritual trials.  Yes.  Influencing a trio of parish Patrons who helped to establish, to build, to educate.  Yes. Influencing the cooperation and outreach by parish members to grow the faith, to share the love of God.  He concluded his anniversary message, “I pray that we may all continue to grow in our zeal for the better things in life.” Amen.
This zeal was on the horizon, as was another parish milestone.  However, this milestone was a breakthrough, a discovery, a landmark.  It was – a turning point when Monsignor Grill announced his retirement in 1987.  Yes. Heads must have turned when the word went out.  Yes. The people would have to say farewell to their founder, their leader, their pastor, their friend.  Yes. They would have to welcome a new leader, one whom had never been a pastor before.

It was the love and plan of God renewing the Spirit at St. John Eudes church.

"Of all the works of a truly Christian soul, the noblest, the most holy, the loftiest, and that which God chiefly demands of us, is the exercise of pure divine love. That is why we should take great care in all our pious works and all our acts to protest to Our Lord that we wish to do them, not through fear of Hell, nor for the reward of Paradise, not for merit, nor for our own satisfaction and consolation, but for love of Him, for His pleasure, for His glory alone and for His most pure love." - St. John Eudes

Rising Again – The Fourth Decade

The county planning office had been busy surveying, zoning, inspecting, permitting – all those things that civic government does to try and keep order while encouraging growth.  Construction in the Porter Ranch Hills north of St. John Eudes Parish had already been booming, with more to come.  Plenty of new homes were planned, but no new Catholic parishes. The cards were dealt, and Fr. McNamara encouraged his flock to ante. There were meetings, meetings and more meetings until there was a Master Plan that provided some answers to the overflowing needs of the future SJE.  All was well, or at least there had been prayers for guidance, some agreement, and plenty of refreshments. Soon however, the parish discovered that  the Master’s plan was different from their own.

Many people described the earthquake as a rolling kind of motion. It was centered in Northridge. Everyone agreed that it was frightening.  Some never woke up that morning. Others stood surrounded by the rubble of everything they owned. Those able to look up at the sky saw the most amazing star field because there was no man-made light shining anywhere. It was January 17, 1994: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The clock in the church stopped at 4:31 a.m. Peaceful times would come again, but for now, the church was red-tagged and the Master Plan went back to the meeting rooms.  Students in the parish school got a few free days then went back to their studies in the sturdy quake-proof classrooms.

There was a Mass said by the bishop in the Parish Center. There was a sign with the erstwhile motto: “We Will Rise Again.”  There came a new Master Plan.  There was a pledge drive, a tent-church, a loan to begin construction. There was a groundbreaking with a slightly used golden shovel. There were headaches and backaches, trucks and cranes, hardhats and hammers.

On the date of the dedication, July 27, 1996, the first part of the new Master Plan was complete.  There stood a tower, a plaza and a new community center; a narthex, a Eucharistic chapel and a fountain. Fr. McNamara wrote, “. . . And thanks be to God that we, as a family, with one solitary intention, came together over the bumps and through the fragments . . .”

Just beyond the new entry doors of the newly designed church, stood the new baptismal font, ready for the influx of newly faithful parishioners. 

“. . . it is a sword of love . . . It wounded them that it might heal them, it killed them to bring them to life; it made them die to sin, to the world, to themselves, and to everything that was not God, so as to make them live with the life of God. It struck them, in fact, with a desirable and precious death: with a death which is not death but is life and the source of life." - St. John Eudes

Feeding the Faith – The Fifth Decade

Way, Truth, Life: these beliefs were the seeds of parish outreach, which had not laid dormant, but set precedence in earlier decades.  The F.I.S.H. food pantry, Girl and Boy Scout troops; St. Vincent de Paul Society group, Christmas gifts brought to children in Tijuana, support of small parishes through Together in Mission, Women In God’s Service, volunteer tutors, were among the activities attesting to the spirit of service alive in the parish.<p>

A new century was bringing remarkable events, reported from the pages of newspapers, internet homepages and widescreen televisions. Many times these were a reminder of what power will do, when not bound by love, leaving wounded people behind. In far off countries, within the fifty states, in the local community and in The Church itself, broken souls might be weeping in a counselor’s office; sleeping in a park; lining up for groceries; attending meetings in a hall; crowding into a jail cell; watching the toils of war; grieving at a clinic; praying from a wooden bench.  The world came ever closer and the parish came to greet it, holding fast to the idea that Faith is empty if it never moves out of the pews: Way, Truth, Life.

Ministry fairs recruited open hearts and strong backs for new tasks, retreats and workshops gathered the hesitant for sharing; Vacation Bible Schools fueled youth with Spirit; Red Cross blood drives collected life source; Lenten soup kitchens strengthened resolutions; bereavement circles offered empathy. The work was everywhere and would never be finished: “The poor will always be with you . . .”

Replenishment came for the workers and the wounded, from the shelves of the McNamara Library, the stage in Grill Hall, the chairs in St. Paula Montal Hall, the fountain in Msgr. Nugent Plaza, the memorial garden for parish angels, and from the parish carnival on the fields and blacktops.  It came from the golden tabernacle in the Eucharistic Chapel: food and drink, Christ’s Body and Blood, for the ever present, ever changing journey.

Every day at Mass, prayers went up to God, to Jesus, to the Patrons, asking for more leaders in the Faith; more grace to bring more vocations and more recipients to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

“In His Incarnation He has given us His own Person; He has given us His whole life, for every moment of it He employed for us, so that He never had a thought, said a word, or performed an action, even the least, that He did not consecrate to our salvation. And finally, He has given us in the Holy Eucharist His Body and Blood, and with these His soul and His divinity together with all the infinite marvels and treasures to be found in His divinity and His humanity; and all this He gives us every day, or at least as often as we choose to prepare ourselves to receive Him.” - St. John Eudes

Looking to the Future

A letter filled with Spirit and hope had made its way two thousand five hundred eighty four miles from Los Angeles to Quebec. It was early summer, 2010.  The Provincial of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (CJM) – St. John Eudes own order of priests – read the missive from Cardinal Mahoney and Archbishop Gomez, and did not know what to do.  After some consideration, the Provincial sent a letter of his own – to the U.S. region of the Congregation.  Fr. Gerard Lecomte, a former pastor, was contentedly building up priests as Rector of the CJM House of Discernment in La Mesa, California. The request in the letter was straightforward yet complex: should the Eudists take charge of a parish – one that Fr. Gerard was not unfamiliar with – named for the saint to whom they had dedicated their lives?

He and the Congregation wondered what answer to give the Archbishop in Los Angeles. They reflected on St. John Eudes the evangelizer, who was never alone, but together for the mission. Their own Constitutions asked them to “open with boldness new ways to evangelization.”  They prayed . . . and accepted.  Fr. Gerard would take the stewardship of St. John Eudes Parish, AND continue the formation of Eudist priests. This would rely on team work – following the model of the Patron – and the willingness of the parish to accept added responsibility: the support and advancement of the seminarians who would follow along.  The great gift of St. John Eudes Parish – welcoming arms and open hearts – was presented to a new leader with a different vision – and a French twist on the English language.

The challenge of an unknown path brings questions: “Who will take on this job?”  “How will we get there?”  “How will we afford it?”  The same questions asked by founding families who stood in an empty lot, looking at a sign that named their future parish.  Five decades later, it is not the same world, and this world brings new questions: “How did we get here?” “How will we survive?” “Who can we trust?”  The answers lay in each member of St. John Eudes Parish, in every follower of the Catholic Faith.  Fr. Gerard, looking forward, building on the past, counting on His people, reflects: “Our parish groups are actively expanding their roles to meet the changing needs of our parish, find answers to the challenges we face, and spread the message of the Gospel.  And the faith of our parish remains firm and founded upon solid values guided by our belief in Christ.”

“. . . you are one with this same Jesus, as the members are one with their head, and that consequently you must have but the one mind, the one soul, the one life, the one will, the one sentiment, the one heart . . . and that He Himself must be your mind, your heart, your love, you life, your all." - St. John Eudes

Pictures of Our 50th Anniversary Mass & Dinner – May 11, 2013
     (A special thanks to Ruby Beloz and Alex Washington for taking the photographs)

Our 50th Anniversary Pilgrimage

Fr. Gérard led our 50th Anniversary Pilgrimage to visit the places where St. John Eudes lived and carried out his ministry in Normandy, France. The tour also included the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Lisieux (home of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus), Mont St. Michel, and a number of sites in Paris. Fr. Gérard wrote the following about the pilgrimage he and fellow parishioners took:

50th Anniversary Pilgrimage to the Places of St. John Eudes - Jul. 8-18, 2013

In celebration of our parish’s 50th Anniversary, I was delighted to be with our parish group of pilgrims as we made our special pilgrimage to Lourdes, Paris, and Normandy in France. We began our pilgrimage on July 8 and returned July 18.  We went on a pilgrimage of Praise, Gratefulness and Intercession. And while we were away, those at home were invited to join us spiritually and do the same from their homes and in their gatherings at the parish.

Praise.  St. John Eudes, faithful to his way of reading the Scriptures, had the Eudists say this prayer before meals: “Whether . . . you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory [of God], and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”1 As we made this special trip, we added to St. John Eudes’ prayer: “Whether you go in pilgrimage. . .” And so we traveled to those sites dedicated to bring Our Lord praise. We wanted his name to be sanctified by our lives, through our actions, and by our presence at these holy places.

Picture of Our Lady of Délivrande Shrine where
St. John Eudes dedicated the Eudists to the Virgin Mary

Gratefulness.  “God gave me grace to be born . . .”  This is the way John Eudes begins his own memorial (his spiritual autobiography).  Indeed, it was through God’s grace that our own parish was born 50 years ago.  And in taking this journey, we brought with us 50 years of thanksgiving for God’s blessings on our parish community. Our thankfulness was expressed through our Anniversary Year Prayer composed by St. John Eudes ‒ the Ave Cor ‒ which we prayed especially in Ri, where he was born, and also in Caen, when we visited the room where St. John Eudes passed away.

Intercession.  Our hearts were filled with prayers for our own human and spiritual necessities. We brought the prayers of our parishioners to the various shrines we visited, such as those at Lourdes, Lisieux, and the Apparition Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in Paris. We prayed for couples and women who cannot have children at the church of Our Lady of Recovery. We prayed at the shrine of Our Lady of the Délivrande, which is the shrine where St. John Eudes entrusted his first companions and himself to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. As pilgrims we represented all our fellow parishioners and put ourselves in the middle (which is the etymology of intercession) to present the intentions of those at home at the shrines.

Our pilgrimage was made with “Burning Hearts, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.” All along the way, we held all those at home in our hearts. Long live Jesus and Mary!

Fr. Gérard Lecomte, CJM

(1) Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17 - “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”