Marians Prepare for the Feast!
Holy Mass. Opportunities for confession. Prayer. Music. Food. And thousands of fellow pilgrims joining together to receive the graces the Lord promises on this special feast day.
Yes, it's Divine Mercy Weekend at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.
Approximately 20,000 people are expected to attend the annual festivities on April 6-7, at the Shrine, the home of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.
A good friend of the Marians, the Most Rev. Martin D. Holley, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., will be the principal celebrant for the Solemn Liturgy at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Both the Sunday liturgy and the Vigil Mass at 4 p.m. on Saturday will be celebrated at the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine.
An international broadcast of the celebration will air on the EWTN Global Catholic Network beginning at noon eastern time with a one-hour program preceding the celebration. Featured guests are Leonardo and Patti Defilippis, Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, and Mark Fanders.
The program will be followed by a solemn Mass at 1 p.m. and conclude with the singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m., recognized as the hour that Jesus died on the cross.
Throughout the weekend, the 350-acre Divine Mercy Shrine grounds are transformed into a small city providing a rich, spiritual experience to pilgrims visiting from throughout the world. Translators providing assistance in Spanish, Polish, Italian, French, German, and Tagalog are among the more than 600 volunteers on site throughout the weekend to assist with a myriad of responsibilities, ranging from overseeing parking to receiving prayer intentions and staffing the outdoor shrines and the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The Marian Fathers extend a warm invitation to all to come to Eden Hill to experience this annual celebration. Admission is free for individuals; however, bus groups must register with the Shrine Pilgrimage Office: TheDivineMercy.org/shrine.
Don't forget: Mercy Weekend kicks off with the annual Mercy Weekend Conference on Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon. The theme is "Divine Mercy and the New Evangelization." This year the conference takes place at our new venue — the First Congregational Church located at 4 Main Street in Stockbridge, just down the hill from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.
The featured speakers are:
• Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC — Author of best-selling book No Turning Back and his new release Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest. Father Donald will talk on "Our Lady: Masterpiece of Mercy and Mother of the New Evangelization." Father Donald will also be available for book signing.
• Kelly Wahlquist — Assistant director of the Marians' Evangelization and Development Office for Parish Evangelization. Kelly directs the Hearts Afire Parish-based Programs for the New Evangelization and will talk about "Our Supreme Role in the New Evangelization."
• Master of Ceremonies — Br. Chris Alar, MIC, Marian seminarian and speaker.
Learn more about the conference.