On last stop before leaving the San Diego area was the Missionaries of Charity in National City. We gathered at the convent to preach about the icon and give the nuns an opportunity for veneration.
By the end of August, our travels led us to the Diocese of San Bernardino’s St. Adelaide Church in Highland. Flanked by the parish’s Knights of Columbus color guard, we processed into the church. For two hours, devoted and faithful parishioners venerated Our Lady because they recognize the importance of intercessory prayer in their lives and for the souls of the unborn. The weekday evening Mass, which I concelebrated, brought a crowd of 125 people anxious to hear about the historic From Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life.
We’ve visited many Polish mission churches along our journey, so the warm welcome we received at St. Maximilian Kolbe Polish Mission in Pacific Beach was not a surprise. Staffed by Society of Christ Fathers, the mission planned a series of activities with Father Jerzy Frydrych in full support. Starting off with a prayerful welcome ceremony and procession into the church, Father Jerzy and I concelebrated Mass. My homily about the Black Madonna was well received by the Polish community, and at the closing of Mass, hymns of praise to Our Lady of Czestochowa sent us off to our next destination.
The next venue for Our Lady’s pilgrimage was the Southern California Renewal Communities Conference in Anaheim on August 30. Devotees who had previously met and venerated her on previous parish visits planned the Black Madonna’s arrival at the conference. Although the conference setting was unusual, was a blessed opportunity for the From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage in Defense of Human Life to distribute information and encourage devotion to Our Lady.
Holy Spirit Church in Fountain Valley is one of the largest Vietnamese parish communities that the Black Madonna has visited yet. I had a full schedule celebrating Mass, preaching homilies, and giving opening presentations before every Mass in a parish that seats 1,000 people. Crowds overflowed the church to attend Masses celebrated in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Seeing so many venerate the Black Madonna and pray the Rosary across all ethnic backgrounds shows how she is loved by all!