On the Road

Embraced in the Cloister

Written by: Denise Serafini on Friday, May 19, 2017

Have you ever been to a cloistered convent? We were invited to share the Relics of the Passion and our little presentation with a group of cloistered Carmelite nuns in Salt Lake City on Thursday, May 18. What an experience! It so happened that we had a cancellation in our original schedule, leaving us with an open day. Sister Therese found out about us from Angela, a woman from one of the parishes on our schedule. Sister Therese called Tom, President of our Apostolate, shortly after our arrival in Utah. She was so excited about the possibility for us to make a stop at her convent that she quickly scoped out our website and wanted to tie down the details as quickly as possible. Being part of a cloistered community, these holy women would not be able to attend a public event and this type of opportunity doesn’t come their way very often. Tom relayed the message to me and I called Sister Therese to make arrangements for the added stop. We couldn’t have been more honored and pleased to fill the gap in the agenda with a visit to the Carmelite Monastery. Although Angela may have thought she was the genesis for the idea, we have often seen St. Joseph take over to guide us to places and individuals we would never have known about. We can’t thank Angela enough for being an instrument of St. Joseph in setting a wonderful series of events in motion.

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Blessings, Gifts and Grace Abounding

Written by: Denise Serafini on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We engaged in a presentation of “Call from the Crucified Heart” on the 100th Anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima and the canonization of Saints Jacinta and Francisco on May 13 at St. Marguerite Church in Tooele, Utah. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima was prominently displayed in the front of the church with fresh flowers, including Casablanca lilies that emitted a wonderful fragrance. In her hands, Our Lady had a scapular and a small blue rosary. That rosary ended up being a gift that was presented to me at the end of the event. It seems it was hand made by Servant of God Maria Esperanza, a Venezuelan mystic. She made that rosary while visiting friends in Tooele. What a blessing. Father Kenneth Vialpando, pastor of the parish of St. Marguerite of Alacoque, presided over the event. He did a tremendous job of reading the messages from Jesus on the Cross that are part of the theme for this year’s program. That theme is totally aligned to the story of St. Marguerite, who was chosen by Christ to arouse the Church to a realization of the love of God symbolized by the heart of Jesus.

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The Gifts of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Written by: Denise Serafini on Friday, May 05, 2017

We had a full day of activities on tap for the scheduled event at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Waterbury, CT on April 11. This church has had us make an encore visit every Tuesday of Holy Week for 5 years running thanks to Sister Georgia Wright, SSC who is consistently helping to engage the members of her parish in faith formation. Sister Georgia recently had a health issue that would prevent her from attending the event so we decided to take the event to her at the rehabilitation facility where she is currently being cared for and treated. The nurses assembled Sister Georgia along with other residents and staff at the facility to participate in our program. We brought our music ministry and finished the program just in time to travel to the church for an on-time arrival. Sister Georgia couldn’t have been more grateful. She was rather down when she realized that she wouldn’t be able to coordinate and participate in the activities of Holy Week at the church. Having a personal presentation of “Call from the Crucified Heart” seemed to fill that gap for her and gave her the consolation of having participated in at least one formal spiritual event during Holy Week. We offered the prayers for the evening’s event at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in petition for Sister Georgia’s speedy recovery and return to her role in organizing their parish events and activities. The event at the church was simply wonderful. Father Frederick Aniello and Deacon Ernie Pagliaro joined us as part of the event and I have to say that Deacon Ernie’s reading of Jesus’s words to us from the various scenes in His Passion were heart rending.

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Connecting the Dots

Written by: Denise Serafini on Thursday, May 04, 2017

We began our 2017 season with a private presentation of “Call from the Crucified Heart” at the Church of St. Thomas, for a special apostolate, the Legion of Mary. Because this year marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, we thought it fitting to kick off the year’s activities with a group that is centered on Marian prayer. To make it special we customized the prayers within the presentation to align them with the philosophies, prayers and quotes of Venerable Edel Quinn. Her lifetime focus on the Holy Eucharist and the rosary provided a perfect parallel for the context of our theme for 2017. As we were setting up the parish pastor, Father Hellwig, happened to come by and asked about what we were doing, concerned by the amount of equipment we were bring in. Like many priests that we work with, he thought that the Legion of Mary was simply having a few relics brought in for veneration. We chatted for a few minutes, sharing the elements that make up our presentation and he insisted that we plan for a return event that would include his entire parish. We couldn’t have been more pleased to accommodate his request and scheduled an event for Palm Sunday, April 9, a most significant day for meditating on the Passion of Christ.

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A Visit with True Friends

Written by: Denise Serafini on Wednesday, May 03, 2017

We spent Sunday afternoon on April 2nd with friends at Holy Rosary Church in Cedar, Michigan. I say friends because the parishioners at Holy Rosary are so warm and gracious they make you feel like you’ve come home for a visit. We couldn’t have felt more welcomed and supported. Members of this parish were available as soon as we arrived to help us unload our equipment and get everything in place. They were extremely attentive in helping us get everything we needed. Father Libby came out to greet us and we quickly got the little details for the event ironed out. The sense of family is evidenced in every aspect of this church community. We watched neighbors greeting neighbors as they left Mass before we even unloaded our equipment. With that same demeanor, they were neighbors helping neighbors, teamed with us in the set up, delivery and take down processes for our event. And what good friend would let you leave without sharing some small token of friendship? They baked cookies for us to take on the next leg of our journey.

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​ We’re All Members of Christ’s Family

Written by: Denise Serafini on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On Friday March 17, we presented at the Church of the Holy Family in Hebron, Connecticut. It was a wonderful event with significant attendance. Father Brian Romanowski joined us to preside over the event and we were blessed with a full contingent of the Knights of Columbus Color Guard. As we were traveling I gave some thought to the Holy Family and their travels. Obviously the Holy Family is always depicted with St. Joseph, Mary and Jesus together and we generally think about them living out relatively simple lives in the little house in Nazareth. However, there was so much more to the reality of living out their role as the holiest of families and we only occasionally think of the Holy Family bound together in perilous circumstances and the consistency they must have applied in coming together in prayer to the Father and Holy Spirit for their safety and the fulfillment of their role here on earth. We too are on a perilous journey, the journey of life. We have to consistently be mindful of the perils of sin and keeping ourselves aligned with the principles upon which the Holy Family lived out their daily life. Unlike the Holy Family, we have issues with running our lives according to our own dictates and not necessarily keeping ourselves in check to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Family did, we need to keep ourselves rooted in prayer to assure that we consistently choose the right path to fulfill our mission here on earth. We can be individuals, members of the Holy Family Parish, part of an apostolate or any other Christian group. Regardless, we are all members of Christ’s Holy Family. We have a shared responsibility to pray for one another in imitation of the Holy Family and proceed through the perils of life with our “yes” to the Father and depending on the Holy Spirit for guidance. We also have the opportunity, as Our Lady did, to bind our prayers and sufferings in this life to Passion of Our Savior for our benefit and for the benefit of those for whom we pray. The greater circle of pray

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Our Lady in the Sorrowful Mysteries

Written by: Denise Serafini on Saturday, March 11, 2017

​One of the members of the Knights of Columbus Color Guard here in Connecticut had said to me in a couple of events in past years that he wanted to bring one of our presentations to his church in East Haven. He said, “When you come to my church I promise that you will present to a filled church.” Well true to his word, the Church of Our Lady of Pompeii was filled almost to capacity on Wednesday, March 8 with married couples, young families and CCD students. I was genuinely touched to see such a large group of people gathered to walk with Jesus in His Passion. We also had the pleasure of having the president of our Apostolate in attendance, something that is very rare since our presentation arrangements and his work schedule never seemed to align for him to attend. Presiding over the event was the pastor’s assistant, who filled in for the pastor who had been called to tend to another pastoral commitment. Pastoral Assistant Pat set the tone for the entire event in carrying the Relic of the True Cross on high during the opening procession to bring everyone’s focus of attention to the Cross of Salvation. What a wonderful beginning to a truly touching event. Each of the meditations for this year contain a perspective on what Our Lady was experiencing as she walked alongside her Son during His Passion. The context of those moments highlighted within the readings, seemed to move a number of the people (men and women alike) in the congregation to tears, witnessing to their sharing in Mary’s sorrows, particularly during the depiction of the crucifixion and the piercing of the side of Jesus.

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Shared Missions and Principles

Written by: Denise Serafini on Friday, March 10, 2017

On Saturday, February 11 we had the privilege of kicking off our 2017 tour season in a private event with members of the Legion of Mary at St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, CT. Because of their status as an apostolate dedicated to Jesus through Mary and our dedication of this year’s activities in honor of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, we felt it appropriate to ask them to serve as the first group of the prayerful faithful for our inaugural presentation of “Call from the Crucified Heart: A program with Relics of the Passion”. The similarities exemplified in the principles upon which the the Legion carries out its mission turned out to be significantly similar to the principles built into the prayers and meditations we have for our general program. That concept drove the decision to launch our inaugural event in consort with them. We are indeed grateful to the Litchfield Curia members of the Legion of Mary for allowing us to share our program with them in a prayerful event that sets the tone for all of the events we will have in 2017. We ask the Legion of Mary members to remember us in their prayers and offer sacrifice for the successful promotion of Christ’s Passion and Our Lady sorrows in the most significant event that marks the roots of our faith. We plan to do the same for the Legion of Mary as each of the members of our respective organizations press on in faith to do his will.

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A New Year - A New program

Written by: Denise Serafini on Friday, January 20, 2017

The Year of Mercy was certainly a year full of wonderful events that were hosted at many parishes, retreat centers, shrines and convents. More than 30,000 people had the opportunity to engage in our meditative program and venerate our Relics of the Passion collection in our travels across 15 states. More than 10,000 individuals added our program of meditations on Christ’s road to Calvary to their collection of prayers for ongoing devotion to His Passion. We couldn’t have been more blessed. Our new program for 2017 is entitled, "Call from the Crucified Heart". It is designed to highlight a facet of what we believe Christ’s message is to us from various scenes during His Passion. We have also made exposition of the Holy Eucharist a required part of the meditative portion of our presentation, to underscore that time-transcending gift that connects us from His Passion to His Presence with us today. As a tribute to Our Lady of Sorrows, and in honor of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima, our program also highlights a perspective on Mary as she accompanied Jesus on the path to Calvary.

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