Sister Ruth Plante, Provincial, Sisters of the the Order of St. Basil the Great at Mount St. Macrina in Uniontown, Pa., told pilgrims to the 84th annual Pilgrimage on Sept. 1 she still runs to her mother. “I know that even now that my mom is in Eternity. When I get all stressed out and I’m running around like a crazy lady and I can’t find my keys and I’m supposed to be somewhere in five minutes, I just call out to my mom and she comes to my help because she still doesn’t like to see me cry,” she said.
“We’ve all done that, we’ve all run to our moms for consolation, for advice, for courage. This is why you’re here today. Because your Heavenly Mother brought you here. You could be home in your air-conditioned living room with a nice cold iced tea — or a beer — but here you are in this hot, humid weather.”
Her address opened the 84th Pilgrimage in Honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Sept. 1 to 2. The Pilgrimage weekend included Divine Liturgies, opportunities to receive the Mystery of Reconciliation, Children’s Pilgrimages, enrichment sessions, and a candlelight procession beginning and ending at the Mother of God Shrine.
“Today we begin a whole new liturgical year and if we look back, it certainly has been quite a year, hasn’t it? Filled with all kinds of stress. We look at our government, we look at our officials, every day a new scandal, new problems. We know in our church, we have things we need to deal with,” she said. “We look at society, we have children being killed, violence, we have drug addiction, opioid problems. Everywhere we look there are major, major concerns and crises.
“Even though some of those are ‘out there,’ they still find their way in ‘here’,” pointing to her heart. She told pilgrims the stress of daily life necessitates a “run to our mothers.” “So we bring all of that with us as we come to pray today and tomorrow duiring this Pilgrimage. And so, what do we do with all this?
“Well, we do what we’ve always done: Go and run to our moms, we run to our mothers; our Heavenly Mother, the hope of all generations. I invite pilgrims to find a quiet place, sit down and talk to your Heavenly Mother.” Sister Ruth said it’s a way to be spiritually refreshed and face the new liturgical year with more courage and enthusiasm.
“Unburden yourself. Let Her know everything that’s in your heart, all the baggage that perhaps you bring with you, and ask Her for Her help. And you know that She will be glad to embrace you in her love and to also encourage you and support you in whatever is there in your heart.”