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Mario Bruschi, director of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Young Adults, helped organize a successful procession through the Financial District in Lower Manhattan in New York City with about 500 people.  After the procession, he drove with me through city traffic from St. Peter’s Church in Lower Manhattan to Our Lady of Good Counsel Church on the Upper East Side.

We arrived just in time to bring the icon Of Our Lady of Czestochowa to a gathering of young adults called the Catholic Underground a popular, cultural apostolate organized by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.  Again, many of the Sisters of Life were also there.  It was wonderful to see them present at so many of our events honoring Our Lady and praying for the defense of life.

Church in New York CityThe Church was overflowing with about 600 young adults.  I had the opportunity to address them about the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa and the From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage in Defense of Life before the Franciscan Friars exposed the Blessed Sacrament and prayed Vespers (Evening Prayer).  The dark church, lit only by candlelight, added to the intimacy of the gathering.  Contemporary music of worship and praise was led by the Friars during the time of Eucharistic Adoration.  Meanwhile, I heard confessions for about 2 ½ hours.  The Holy Hour ended with solemn Benediction.

While I was still hearing confessions, the Friars gave a presentation downstairs and when it was over the young adults came back upstairs to pray Compline (Night Prayer) which concluded with a hymn to Our Lady, Daughter Zion. Mother of the New Jerusalem.  As I finished hearing confessions, many young people were in line to venerate the icon.  The holy cards of Our Lady of Czestochowa were very popular, as were our guides to confession and pamphlets on the basic beliefs of our Catholic faith. After leaving Our Lady of Good Counsel to spend the night back at St. Peter’s Church, I was tired, but it was a good kind of tired. The kind of tired St. Peter must have been when, after having worked hard and caught nothing he obeyed the Lord’s command to cast his net to the other side of his boat, he drew in 153 fish!

Fr. Peter West
Vice President for Missions
Human Life International
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