The Advent season has been busy. Preparations across the diocese are underway and blessings are unfolding. An event has taken place in Fruita which brings us joy. On December 9, the Feast of San Juan Diego, we consecrated a new Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe at Sacred Heart Parish. This shrine on the western slope complements our Shrine of St Therese in Pueblo; we now have two shrines dedicated to our two co-patronesses, located on alternate sides of the diocese.
The Shrine to Our Lady is designated as a site of pilgrimage on Sacred Heart parish grounds. The beautifully expressive statues of Our Lady and San Juan Diego are situated in a grotto, fronted by an extensive garden, and approached through a meditative path. The weather for the outdoor bi-lingual Mass of Consecration was beautiful, bright, and sparkling.
"This shrine on the western slope complements our Shrine of St Therese in Pueblo; we now have two shrines dedicated to our two co-patronesses, located on alternate sides of the diocese."
There were roses in abundance on the grotto hillside, signifying the roses of Tepeyac where Our Lady appeared, the roses which became her image as Juan Diego unfolded his tilma. (We also remembered roses sent from heaven by Our Little Flower, St Therese.) Matacina dancers (some as young as 5) announced a drumming of expectation as people gathered from throughout the Grand Junction deanery, the diocese, and beyond; close to 1000 came. Our Liturgy was celebrated upon a humble altar with the dramatic depiction of Guadalupe as backdrop. Following the Mass there was food in abundance. Many lingered at the grotto to chat, take photos, and pray into the afternoon.
To the side of the grotto, the garden path allows ingress to a touching memorial to Life, to the unborn children and mothers of the world. A beautiful statue arrangement of Jesus and the children invite the pilgrim family into silent prayer and reflection. Our Lady stands closely by, reaching out to all the little ones.
"Our Liturgy was celebrated upon a humble altar with the dramatic depiction of Guadalupe as backdrop."
This year, the Fourth Week of Advent only lasts for one Sunday. Christmas comes the next day. Yet the season is being worthily fulfilled if we are doing our part to make way for the Lord. Are we prepared for the hour of His coming? Mary calls us from the miracles of the Immaculate Conception, the mountain top of Tepeyac, and the rosary in our hands. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight His paths! We have a little time left.
Gracias, Madre Maria, pro todos los bendiciones. Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
In prayerful hope for a Happy and Holy Christmas for you and your family, I send you blessings. May your encounter with the child Jesus bring the joy of renewed faith. May the Holy Spirit breathe life into a new awakening for our diocese. And may you always know the blessings of love through the Holy Family in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo
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