Shrine celebrates 75 years of pilgrimage

CORMAC The pews at the Shrine of St. Ann in Cormac were lined with faithful parishioners on the morning of July 27.

Those that could not find a seat brought their own, as they set up camp to pray, worship and find healing.

The Shrine of St. Ann pays devotion to the Grandmother of Jesus. It was erected in the late 1930s in Cormac because the church was centrally situated in the diocese. Over the years, people from eastern Ontario and western Quebec gather at the shrine for the annual outdoor pilgrimage. 

On Sunday, a processional led by priests, altar servers, and the Knights of Columbus Honour Guard began the mass. Anna Schroeder and Bardella Kelly of Cormac carried the St. Ann’s banner to the altar. Kelly’s husband’s grandfather donated the land where the shrine sits today.

Members of the Diocesan Community Choir led the procession in song, beginning with a hymn called To Kneel at Thine Altar. The choir consists of choir members and instrumentalists from local parishes in the area. 

Bishop of Pembroke Michael Mulhall, once again, led he 11 a.m. mass in prayer. He started off by thanking everyone who helped make the day possible, including Fr. John Lacey and his volunteers.

“A great deal of work goes into this and I am dearly grateful,” he said.

He went on to thank the people who brought those that were infirm and sick to the mass. He also thanked those that were ill for coming to the mass as well.

“Your presence here makes life real for us,” he said.

Story continues in the July 31, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette