By Dan Wagner
This is the first day that I have filled in as an official custodian to the Pilgrim Virgin Statue and to be honest I am enjoying the work quite a bit more than I thought. I was a little worried the whole two weeks would be a bit slow and repetitious to the point that I would be bored out of my gourd and missing my tool-belt in the worst way within a few weeks, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there is an amazing amount of diversity in the work and it really feels quite inspirational and exciting. I can honestly say I am glad to be able to help out.
We drove from the Cathedral in Metuchen last night to Newark where we dropped off Patrick Sabat for his flight home. Then Larry and I started out in the RV, and in no time at all, I was asleep in the passenger seat. We arrived at about 2:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the first stop on the tour, Our Lady of Fatima in Bridgeport CT. We were able to sleep in until later morning before setting up for a 12:00 service. Our Lady of Fatima parish has a large Portuguese population. The faith is strong and the singing is beautiful, but nearly everything is in Portuguese. A few people were hoping we had books and materials in Portuguese, but I did my best to apologize and tell them we will try to improve on this for next time. They are a really gracious and appreciative group. At 2:30, at the pastor’s request, we had a procession with the Statue to the RV and everyone who was there, many who had been present for the full 2-1/2 hours, followed the Statue out and sang a farewell song to our Lady as we readied for the next church in the diocese, St. Therese.
This was an even bigger church, built in Norman Gothic style in the early 1960’s, a great building, and a very active and vibrant parish. One lady who is an active Blue Army member was a wonderful help at the book and information table, and this freed up Larry and I to do a lot of other extras, like running for supplies, distributing scapulars and video-taping talks. The Pastor and other staff were very helpful and welcoming and the whole program has been very good so far with many people attending. I truly believe they are leaving with a lot more hope and energy to live and spread our Lady’s plan for peace. Many books were sold here and the video camera had enough charge to catch some great words by Father Andrew.