Shrine prepares for Divine Mercy Sunday
On April 27-28, 19 years after Pope St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and established the first Sunday after Easter as a universal feast day of the Church, the Marian Fathers will host more than 20,000 people at their annual Divine Mercy Sunday Weekend celebration at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of the Diocese of Albany, New York, will preside at the Solemn Liturgy at 1 p.m. on Divine Mercy Sunday.
“Bishop Scharfenberger is a close friend of the Marian Fathers and has done so much throughout the years to evangelize his diocese,” said Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC, rector of the Shrine.
For years, Bishop Scharfenberger has worked alongside the Marian Fathers in spreading the message of Divine Mercy and Marian consecration. In 2016, the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, he encouraged parishes throughout his diocese to consecrate themselves to Divine Mercy through Marian Fr. Michael Gaitley’s best-selling book 33 Days to Merciful Love. The year before that, Bishop Scharfenberger encouraged diocesan-wide consecration to Jesus through Mary through Fr. Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory.
“It was like a grace bomb was dropped on our diocese,” Bishop Scharfenberger said afterward.
Both the Sunday Liturgy and the Vigil Mass at 4 p.m. on Saturday will be celebrated on Eden Hill at the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine.
On Saturday morning, the Marian Fathers will host their annual Mercy Weekend Conference. Speakers will include Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, and Teresa Tomeo, author, speaker, and talk-show host. Teresa spent 20 years as a reporter in secular media before she found her way into Catholic broadcasting. Her weekly morning radio program, “Catholic Connection,” reaches more than 500 Catholic radio stations worldwide. She cohosts the television series “The Catholic View for Women” on EWTN Global Catholic Television Network. “Expect a great conference,” said Fr. Chris, the director of the Association of Marian Helpers.
Check-in for the conference on Saturday begins at 9 a.m. The conference will run from 10 a.m. to noon. General admission is $15 (bag lunch included). Admission is free for members of the Thirteenth of the Month Club, Friends of Mercy, and the Holy Souls Sodality. Visit TheDivineMercy.org/mwc or call 1-800-462-7426 to register.
Throughout the weekend, tents will be set up on Eden Hill for Confessions, Adoration, and the Divine Mercy Gift Shop. Due to the unpredictable spring weather in the Berkshires, pilgrims are advised to dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes with traction. If you can’t travel to the Shrine for Divine Mercy Sunday, you can view the celebration live on EWTN. The show begins at noon (Eastern), followed by the Solemn Liturgy at 1 p.m.
The Marians need volunteers to help make Divine Mercy Sunday weekend a success.
“If it weren’t for volunteers, we’d never be able to host this wonderful weekend,” Fr. Anthony said.
This year, the Shrine has a particular need for parking lot attendants and crowd control volunteers, among other positions. Father Anthony said, “I think the passage from St. Faustina’s Diary that says, ‘Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant’ (1075) applies to anyone who volunteers for Divine Mercy Sunday. The more you give to the Lord, the more He will give to you!”
To volunteer, please contact Peter Markavage at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-298-1114.
Visit TheDivineMercy.org/celebrate for more information.