The day after we returned home from Lourdes we flew to Frankfurt with tickets gifted to us enabling the Message of Lourdes to be shared with military women and wives at the Military Council of Catholic Women – Europe (MCCW-E) Conference. We traveled northwest by train to Koblenz and then made our way by car to Schoenstatt Marienland for a ladies retreat deep in the visually enchanted forest of Germany.
“The Hands and Feet of Christ” conference theme fits perfectly for us to speak with the military priests and women about our privilege to serve Christ as His Mother would at Lourdes.
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The US Military Archdiocese is the largest archdiocese in the world, yet each woman was individually nurtured and personally nourished in our rich Catholic teachings, in prayer and in song with sisters-in-Christ. Our Holy Hour friend, Michael John Poirier, led us together in an hour of prayerful Eucharistic devotion and Adoration in the Schoenstatt Church restful in the peaceful quiet of the old woods.
We shared the beginning story of Lourdes Volunteers linked with our military family, serving the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes in junior hospitaller youth service and now serving our special needs pilgrimage each June. We shared the experience of our annual May Military pilgrimage for wounded veterans with the Message of Lourdes relevant to each of us today. Everyone received a gift of a bottle of Lourdes Water and the blessing of the grace that is Lourdes to take home.
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Floating on the liquid beauty of the Rhine, historic churches glisten in the dusk to twilight our path in the stillness of this chilled October evening giving way to impending frost.
We are refreshed in prayer and renewed in our faith returning home to love our families who serve our country as the guardians for peace.
Please, please, please pray for our military families—today and every day in your personal prayer of heart and in your family prayer at night.
Arriving early at the airport the next morning, I am unexpectedly bumped off the waitlist for my return flight home to the United States.
Stay tuned! Our Marian adventure in Germany continues…