December 08, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Benedict Abbey in Still River, MA

The monks at St. Benedict Abbey in Still River, MA, have a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  One of them, Brother Joseph Maria, built a chapel named after her.  It is about 0.6 mile from the main house, down a hill and up on a knoll in the woods.  He built it during midday breaks when the other brothers were taking naps.  I believe one of the stones used to form one of the walls, is from the Tepeyac desert, which is outside Mexico City and is where Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego back in 1531.

The chapel on the knoll in Still River, MA is a beautiful site to behold.  Every year on the vigil of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, i.e., December 11, the brothers and members of their extended community make a pilgrimage there.  Everyone assembles in front of the main house after dinner, and they either walk down the hill, or they take a hay ride to get there.  Those who walk go past candles placed along the path to lighten it up.  They also trudge through mud if it is or has been raining.  Either way, boots are recommended.

Either way, everyone gets a taste of an earthy pilgrimage like those made to Lourdes, Fatima, or Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.  The walk back up the hill adds a challenging dimension to the trek.  It can be deeply spiritual.

In line with Benedictine hopsitality, the brothers serve home made brownies and hot chocolate.

The pilgrimage will be held again this year, on Sunday evening, December 11, 2011, 7:30pm. 
Please come.  If you want more information, feel free to contact me.

“Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ,
for He is going to say,
'I came as a guest, and you received Me' (Matt. 25:35).
And to all let due honor be shown,
especially to the domestics of the faith and to pilgrims."
(Rule of Saint Benedict 53:1)

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Caroline said...

Do you know what time it is this year?
A.D. 2013

Kathleen said...

It is tonight, Wed., Dec. 11, 2013. People will be leaving from outside the main chapel. I hope you can make it.