A visit to Martyrs Shrine in Midland
On the lovely morning of June 1, 2013, about 45 people, mostly Parishioners of the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King Parish, hopped on a Wills bus at 7:00 am for their day of Pilgrimage to the Shrine in Midland. There was prayer time, fun time, quiet time.
Once at Martyrs Shrine, they were welcomed by a Jesuit Priest and two guides. After a time of reflection, the guides began with a tour of St. Joseph Church in which the pilgrims were seated. Off to one side in the church, there was a reliquary where relics of St. Jean de Brebeuf S.J., St. Charles Garnier S.J., and St. Gabriel Lalemant S.J. were housed. Along the top of the rail by the kneelers at the reliquary is a relic of Canada's first Native Saint, St. Kateri Tekakwitha. On the opposite side of the reliquary is the tabernacle and canes, crutches, hearing aides and the like to note the Shrine is a place where many miracles have taken place.
After a short time, the guides took the group outside. They were able to tell stories of how the Shrine came to be and how it has grown over the years. Although the origins began with the Canadian Martyrs and the Hurons, the Martyrs Shrine has been a place for many pilgrims to pay tribute to their own saints from homelands far from here: France (where the Canadian Martyrs came), Korea, Philippines, Italy, Poland, Croatia and many others. It was in 1927 the large bronze statues of the Way of the Cross made their journey as a gift from France to the small town of Midland. The pilgrims would later take part in the Stations of the Cross before attending mass. Mass culminated with Father giving each who wished a blessing by touching their forehead with relics of the saints and saying a prayer.
By that time, the pilgrims were ready for lunch. The day had been so wonderfully sunny. They had a barbecue at a covered picnic area on the grounds. Tony manned the burgers and dogs while everyone else took care of the buns and salads. All were enjoying their meal when it clouded over. Tony continued to flip the burgs and dogs until they were done. What a trooper.
In all, a good time with a very spiritual affair was had by all.
By Margaret Carreiro