March 08, 2012

Self-Directed Retreat at St. Anne Shrine, Sturbridge, MA

Last week, I blogged about an upcoming visit to Saint Anne Shrine in Sturbridge, MA.  I have since visited the shrine and taken many photos.  Here is an overview of my self- directed retreat.
I went for a few days and each day I started my retreat with Daily Mass at 10am in the chapel at St. Anne's.  I was in heaven because I could sleep in a little each morning.  The Assumptionists run the shrine, so one of their priests celebrates the Mass.  It was reassuring to hear the congregation use the new translation.  After Mass, I prayed the Rosary, usually for something important to me, e.g., my sons, those needing help with forgiveness of others, the sick and suffering alcoholics throughout the worlds, the unborn, etc.

After the Rosary, I stayed in church for another hour, doing some ad hoc praying.  I ended my chapel visit with a one-on-one with Jesus, kneeling in front of the Tabernacle and praying some more.  A couple days, I was moved to prostrate myself at Jesus' feet.  (No one was in the church.)  I guess reading St. Faustina's Diary is having some influence on me.  She prostrated before the Tabernacle on many occasions.  I offered my whole self to Him.  "I am Yours" came out of my mouth.

St. Anne w/Mary
 After leaving the chapel, I went to the devotional area where a statue of St. Anne and Mary is kept.  There are crutches and Rosaries and Scapulars placed among one another on both sides of the statue, which was enclosed  with the prayer to St. Anne posted at the bottom.  I am told these healings are similar to those seen at St. Anne de Beaupre in Canada.

Kneeling on the kneeler, I prayed to St. Ann and beseeched her help to do whatever I need to do to release the resentment I harbor toward one of my relatives about incidents from the past.  I have done a lot of work in this area, but there are still some negative feelings lingering. I really want to let go of them so I can be more present to them today.   On the following days, I brought forth other causes to St. Anne.

I lit vigil candles for my sons and my mother, and then I went to do The Way of the Cross in the woods, or I spent a lot of time in the gift shop, or I visited their collection of Russian icons.  I did lots and lots of walking, treated myself to lunch at the many restaurants in Sturbridge, and I ended each day with the Divine Mercy Chaplet and some spiritual reading.

The two vigil candles I lit for my sons.

Simon the Cyrene helps Jesus carry His Cross.

I was blessed to go at a time when there were just about no other visitors.  School was in.  The temperatures were on the chilly side.  And it snowed one day!  The Stations of the Cross looked beautiful in the snowy forest.  I wish I had my camera with me that day. 

Jesus is nailed to the Cross.

Jesus is laid in the tomb.

 This shrine is a gem stowed away in Sturbridge.  It is well worth a visit.
Stairway to Jesus on the Cross.

Saint Anthony
Russian Icon
Mary w/Jesus

Russian Icon
St. Basil the Great w/Guardian Angel

Russian Icon
Mary w/Jesus

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images - personal collection

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi , my name is mitchell. I am 35 years old yesterday. I was i think around the age of seven on my first trip to st ann shrine in sturbridge with my grandmother. As a child it was a very beatiful and inviting place to be. It was till i read your post about this place that i remembered what it was like to be loved by the father and son. I had returned here a few times in my life. Mostly with my grandmother , but once by myself. It is a very magical place for me, my grandmother has passed now , but thanks to her and the shrine i have alot of great memories . I have really thought about my life since being a child , and i have done alot of wrongs in my life, but the lord still loves me and by stumbling across your post it just becomes more clear to me of his love for me , just a mere weak man , looking for a meaning in life. Thank u very much for taking your time and writing about this beautiful place. Thank u .