Our Lady Visits Grand Rapids - The Second Largest City in Michigan

After leaving Sterling Heights on Saturday morning we drove about two and a half hours to St. Isidore’s Church in Grand Rapids.  Grand Rapids is the largest city in Michigan after Detroit, and the largest city in Western Michigan.  The city is 25 miles east of Lake Michigan.

Fr. Donald Lomasiewicz greeted us immediately upon arrival and gave us a warm welcome.  St. Isidore is a very active parish with many young adults.  Some of these young adults were in the choir and sang plain chant.  Another group of young people were practicing to put on a Passion Play.  St. Isidore is also a very actively pro-life parish.

Fr. West concelebrated the 5pm Vigil Mass and gave the homily.  He applied the Gospel account of the blind man in today’s gospel to society at large in the United States.  Fr. West said, “I pray that the blinders will be removed from the people in our society who fail to see the image and likeness of God in every human being so that all life will be respected including the unborn, sick and handicapped in danger of euthanasia”. 

After mass Fr. West gave a talk in the evening that explained in more detail about the origins, history and theology behind writing icons.  It surprised some to learn that St. Luke is attributed to writing this icon.  In general many in the Roman Catholic Church are hearing about the theology of icons for the first time.  Fr. West managed to squeeze into his talk a video about the development of the baby in utero.

Images are so important especially in today’s culture when we practically communicate by images such as photos.  This societal orientation opens the door for people to understand more about icons and the humanity of babies.

On Sunday morning, Fr. West offered the 8:30 A.M. Mass and also preached at the 10:30 A.M. Mass.  Thereafter we travelled an abortion mill to pray for the end to abortion.  In the afternoon, about 30 people gathered to pray outside the local abortion mill. 

Abortion mills are often non-descript in order to hide their activity.  The main description of this abortion mill we prayed in front today was only its address.  The official name of the abortion mill is called “Heritage Clinic” but you have to look it up.  Often abortion mills are disguised and have no markings because abortionists want to hide their activity. 

The group gathered for the prayer vigil came from different churches but mainly from St. Isidore church in Grand Rapids where the icon was visiting.  St. Isidore Church is known for leading prayer vigils especially regarding the right for life.  It is a very active parish with prayer groups meeting for men, women and families.  The parish has a 24 hour adoration chapel and as often happens with parishioners doing Eucharistic Adoration the parish flourishes. 

During a second talk about the Black Madonna Fr. West played an HLI production called Central America and Mexico: Fighting for Life, Faith and Family.  This video is the 3rd of the True Stories video by Human Life International.  A main point of this video regards the exploitation of Central American countries by the United States of America regarding Population Control.

Chris Morales and
Fr. Peter West
Human Life International

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