The Black Madonna had arrived at the Church of Our Lady of the Bright Mount in Los Angeles, CA in the evening of August 22nd, 2014. The pastor, Father Rafał Dyguła, SChr, is with the Society of Christ, a worldwide apostolate with an emphasis to care for the spiritual needs of Polish immigrants. The visit coincided with the parish's 70-year jubilee celebrations, its patronal feast day celebration (our Lady of Czestochowa is celebrated on August 26th), and the reception of the holy relics of St. Pope John Paul II, the Great Apostle of Life.
During those days we also celebrated the anniversary of Our Lady's Icon's arrival on the American Continent and Her welcome reception on the Island of St. Clement in Maryland. This was on August 24th. This past year, the Icon of Czestochowa crossed the United States of America and arrived at the Pacific Ocean, visiting over a dozen cathedrals and several hundred churches, among them a few Orthodox churches, as well.
Pope Francis had sent the Reverend Pastor Rafał Dyguła, TChR his apostolic blessing for the entire parish for the time of Our Lady's visitation in Her Czestochowa Icon and the bringing of the relics of St. John Paul II.
The pastor concluded in his interview with "Our Daily," that the visit of the Czestochowa Icon is the most important event in the life of this Polish parish and has a historical significance. He recalled that some of the parishioners remember the peregrination of the Icon of Jasna Góra in Poland, but for many younger people, born outside of Poland, this will be the first encounter with Her Icon in their lives. "It is almost unbelievable that the Queen of Poland will be visiting here with us on August 23 & 24th, during our parish patronal feast day celebrations (which merit an indulgence) and during the year of the canonization of St. John Paul II, who with his holy pontificate preached and spread the civilization of life," he said.
Due to the importance of this visit of the Icon, the Society of Christ Fathers have invited also other faithful from the local area to join in the prayerful celebration. A Mass was celebrated for all in English and Latin. Many of the faithful took advantage of this invitation and came to pray together. The adoration lasted all night to keep a prayer vigil on the eve of the Sunday Feast Day. Various parish groups, including the youth and children, were leading the prayers. The Way of the Cross and the Rosary were conducted in the intention for the protection of life. Many faithful signed up for the Spritual Adoption of an Unborn Child and said their vows. The Spiritual Adoption program has been active in this parish for many years. The Polish Nation's vows of Jasna Góra were renewed during the Feast Day Mass in Polish.
Father Dyguła, the pastor, underscored that the peregrination of the Czestochowa Icon is an opportunity to remain ever more faithful to the prayer for the victory of the civilization of life. This has so much more significance in the area of this Polish parish, especially since there are several active abortion clinics. Mary's presence gives strength.
Among the guests of honor were Father Peter West of HLI, Rev. Prof. Tadeusz Guz of the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, Rev. Dr. Krzysztof Wieliczko OSPPE, the administrator of the Foundation of John Paul II in Rome, and Brother Mauricio Torres from Colombia.
The church was completely full. Many people were deeply moved by the visit of Our Lady of Czestochowa and stayed for the all night adoration.