Dear Friends of St. Anne's Shrine,
I am delighted to report that we had a very enthusiastic beginning of the 2021 Pilgrimage Season. Our opening Mass was held earlier than usual on Sunday, May 2 due to many who wanted to worship outdoors given the Covid-19 restrictions.
On Sunday, June 13 we had a celebration of Ordination Anniversaries at the 10:30 a.m. Mass. Fr. Marcel Rainville, S.S.E. and Fr. Richard Myhalyk, S.S.E. celebrated 50 years and I celebrated 25 years. It was a perfect day, and we had a simple cookout afterwards. It was a joy to celebrate with so many friends and supporters of the Edmundite Community and our works. During the celebration we were also mindful of the passing of Fr. Ray Doherty, S.S.E. who died peacefully in his sleep the previous Monday morning. We can be confident that such a faithful servant of God is now at the eternal banquet amidst the communion of saints with our risen Lord.
The 5-Day Directed Retreat was also held in June with sixteen retreatants and four spiritual directors. This retreat afforded participants the opportunity to pray with scripture in an atmosphere of silence, meet daily with a spiritual guide, celebrate the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It was a powerful experience for many as people were yearning to connect with God in an intimate way after enduring the pandemic for a year.
We were happy to welcome Bishop Christopher Coyne to the Shrine for the Diocese of Burlington’s family day with a special liturgy and cookout. We look forward to the NY State Knights of Columbus pilgrimage with Bishop Terry LaValley of the Diocese of Ogdensburg and to our feast days of St. Anne on July 26 and the Assumption of Mary on August 15. We also have retreats planned for several groups, including the Lay Carmelite Associates, our own Edmundite Community, and various student groups from St. Michael’s College. Because of the successful vaccination efforts in Vermont, we are rebounding programmatically with good effect.
We have a very large expense facing us in the replacement of the roof of the Boucher Building. The cost is high due to strain on supply lines from the pandemic. We also want to improve the acoustics in the dining area. The estimated cost of this needed project is $250,000. A Vermont family and good friends of the Edmundites have stepped forward offering a $50,000 match to this appeal in memory of Fr. Ray Doherty, S.S.E. Please consider making a special donation so we can realize this generous match. Each dollar you contribute for the upkeep and operations of St. Anne’s Shrine will be matched, up to a combined total of $100,000!
Thank you for your continued support of the Shrine and please send your intentions which I will remember in my prayers. Happy Summer and God bless you!
Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E.