Our Lady of Czestochowa Visits the University of Notre Dame on Thanksgiving Day in America, 2014

Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame greeted the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa on Thanksgiving Day at the Holy Cross Retirement Center on the campus. Fr. Ted is world renown for his leadership over the course of decades at the university. His personal priestly example and dedication to many causes, especially Civil Rights, was extraordinary.

Along with Fr. Ted is Bro. James Lakofka, C.S.C.  both are the most senior members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Bro. James hails from St. Constance Parish on the Northside of Chicago.

Getting ready to travel to Mexico – a stop in Chicago

The Black Madonna arrived in Chicago for the second time. This is a very special, as the peregrination is a chain of meetings and the rule is not to visit any place twice. Some people even joked that Our Lady loved Chicago so much that She decided to return. The reason for it was that the office of Respect Life of the Archdiocese of Chicago got involved in the next leg of the peregrination to Mexico.

Black Madonna Covers 50,000 Miles, Concludes U.S. Prayer Campaign

PHOENIX, Arizona – November 3, 2014 –Logging some 50,000 miles across North America in defense of life, the Black Madonna recently concluded a 14-month global prayer pilgrimage in Phoenix, Arizona. An outdoor Mass attended by 1,000 faithful was held on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at Our Lady of Czestochowa parish in Phoenix, Arizona.

Our Lady of Czestochowa in Las Vegas

As we set off for Las Vegas with the Black Madonna, the picturesque southwestern desert joining California and Nevada offered a peaceful backdrop of reflection on the journey of the historic Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life. Wherever we travel, the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa has strengthened the faithful in their resolutions to defend life and family.

Our Lady Concludes Her Pilgrimage Through California

The Black Madonna traveled on a very hot and dry afternoon to St. Mary Catholic Church in El Centro on September 4. The desert town borders Mexico, just across from Mexicali.  Father Ed Horning pastors a large Hispanic population at St. Mary’s. One parishioner, a Polish nurse named Mrs. Agnieska Hernandez, had just returned from Poland but missed seeing Our Lady of Czestochowa, much to her regret.

Next destination - Orthodox Church in Riverside

Our next destination was St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church in Riverside, where another Akathist service was prayed September 3. Processing into the church with the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa while the Akathist was sung with more than 160 in attendance, including several young families, brought such joy!

Welcoming the Black Madonna at Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church in Anaheim, CA

Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church, a large and beautiful church established in 1969 in Anaheim, California, started as a mission parish that combined St. Mary’s in Van Nuys and St. Nicholas of Fontana. Evident today is a parish embracing a strong liturgical life and vibrant religious education programs for adults and children.

Leaving the San Diego area

On last stop before leaving the San Diego area was the Missionaries of Charity in National City. We gathered at the convent to preach about the icon and give the nuns an opportunity for veneration.

By the end of August, our travels led us to the Diocese of San Bernardino’s St. Adelaide Church in Highland. Flanked by the parish’s Knights of Columbus color guard, we processed into the church.

San Diego in the Orthodox church

On wednesday, August 27 Our Lady of Czestochowa in her pilgrim icon traveled to St. John of Damascus Orthodox Church in Poway in bright and sunny San Diego. Members of the parish arrived to greet Our Lady. As with most Orthodox churches, the best way to honor Our Lady is by celebrating an Akathist hymn which praises the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God.

The Black Madonna Inspires Religious in their Vocations

Ever since the From Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life began in the Summer of 2012 in Vladivostok, Russia, the pilgrimage has encouraged the faithful to seek the intercession of Our Blessed Mother and has implored prayers from members of the Church, especially consecrated religious.