Seventy-five pilgrims from the parish of St Patrick RC Church, Grand Bay, Roseau, Dominica led by their parish priest Fr Brancker John embarked on their fourth annual nine-Church Novena Saturday, August 3.
Unlike previous years when the novena was held in Dominica, this year the group travelled to St Lucia.
The purpose of these novenas is to pray for the personal intentions of the pilgrims and for peace and harmony in the community, country and the world.
Since it is the hurricane season, prayers were offered for protection from all major disasters especially hurricanes and storms. The theme for this year’s nine-Church novena was Stewardship: A Way of Life.
The pilgrims travelled by ferry on Thursday, August 1 and Friday 2. They were housed and hosted at the Cardinal Kelvin Felix Pastoral Centre, a tranquil property not far from the capital, Castries.
Dominica News Online reported that Saturday was a day of prayer, quiet meditation and reflection, energetic praise and worship and humble adoration. At each stop, there was a different activity.
It all began around 6 a.m. with Eucharistic adoration at the Church of St Joseph the Worker in Gros Islet in the north of the island. The pilgrimage then continued southward to the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries where morning prayers were held.
The third stop was at the Mount of Prayer in Coubaril, home of the monastic Benedictine Sisters, where the group was treated to a healthy breakfast before participating in the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Incidentally it was the first Saturday of the month. On every first Saturday for the past 30 plus years, Catholics gathered at the venue to join the nuns and other clergy for a day of prayer and meditation. The pilgrims from Dominica were warmly welcomed to participate.
The prayerful journey then proceeded along the west coast further south to the village of Anse La Raye at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary where the activity was the Stations of the Cross.
It then continued to the picturesque town of Soufriere at the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin where there was praise and worship in song and exhortation.
After lunch, the eighth stop of this prayerful journey took the pilgrims to Micoud and the National Shrine of St Lucy, a church whose architecture is identical to that of the St Patrick’s Church in Grand Bay. There the litany in honour of St Lucy was prayed.
Finally, the pilgrims journeyed up the East Coast to the Church of the Most Pure Heart of Mary at Bexon where Mass was celebrated to culminate a truly prayerful and inspiring pilgrimage and tour to St Lucia.