“Mary, Cause of Our Joy’’ is the theme for the 85th Annual Pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, to be held Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at Mount St. Macrina, Route 40 west of Uniontown.
“Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit,’’ said Sister Ruth Plante, provincial for the Byzantine Catholic Sisters of St. Basil. “It comes from inside out. People can come here and have their spirit refreshed and know the Lord is with them and his mother is there to intercede and watch over them. Not that it’s easy but they can be a little more fortified to face whatever lies ahead.’’
Bishop Gregory Mansour of the Maronite Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn and former pastor of St. George Maronite Catholic Church in Uniontown will be guest homilist for Divine Liturgy at 4 p.m. Sept. 1.
This is the oldest and largest Byzantine Catholic pilgrimage in the nation, attracting thousands every year.
The pilgrimage is conducted under the patronage of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh with Metropolitan Archbishop William C. Skurla of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh and Plante as pilgrimage directors.
The first pilgrimage was held in 1934 to celebrate the sisters moving to their new monastery, the former home of coal baron J.V. Thompson. The next year, Pope Pius XI gave the Sisters an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and asked they spread devotion to Mary under that title.
The Sisters will mark their 100th anniversary in January 2021, culminating a year-long celebration that begins in January 2020. The Sisters started in Cleveland and then moved to eastern Pennsylvania before finding their home in Uniontown.
The pilgrimage includes Divine Liturgies, the mystery of reconciliation, enrichment sessions and processions as well as special pilgrimages for children and teenagers.
Visit www.sistersofstbasil.org for more information.