Dear Friends of St. Anne's Shrine,
During the Easter season we hear stories of the resurrected Jesus appearing to his disciples. The discovery of the empty tomb by Mary Magdalene was followed by a conversation with a would-be gardener. Two disciples while walking to a village called Emmaus encountered a stranger who accompanied them on their journey. A group of disciples were fishing when an unknown person suggested where they should throw their nets for a catch of fish.
In each of these encounters the identity of Jesus was not immediately known. It was through conversation that the presence of Jesus became apparent. When Jesus called Mary by name, she immediately knew it was the Lord. After walking some distance and discussing the Hebrew scriptures, the two disciples recognized Jesus at table in the breaking of the bread. When the disciples came ashore with their catch, they found Jesus preparing a meal for them. Gradually they began to believe that Jesus was indeed alive and their faith in the resurrection grew. Our faith lives also mirror the progression of faith of the first disciples.
St. Anne’s Shrine exists to provide opportunities for women and men to encounter the risen Lord in prayer through the sacramental life of the Church. The Shrine is special to many people because of the experience of faith they had while walking our grounds, attending a retreat, participating in Mass, or celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation. The joy of the gospel is evident as couples exchange marriage vows and babies are baptized in our chapel. The Shrine is indeed a special place for people of all ages and provides memories for a lifetime.
In carrying out this ministry, we face rising costs and a scarcity of personnel in a tight labor market. We must make investments to keep our facilities in good working order and to attract competent staff members to join us in our mission. We have building repairs to make due to the harsh winter winds and significant upkeep of our grounds with downed trees and branches. An old refrigerator recently burned out and needs replacement. We hope to redesign our kitchen to ensure our pilgrims are served safely and efficiently. There are many things to get done.
To help us meet these operating costs, a Vermont couple and a Massachusetts family have issued a $60,000 matching challenge for this appeal. Every dollar you contribute will be matched, making your gift go twice as far. Please help us realize this generous matching-gift opportunity so that we can get the Shrine ready for our pilgrimage season. You can see a listing of our 2022 events on our Schedule of Events page. Thank you for your continued support of the Shrine and be assured of my prayers for you and your family.
Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E.