In the parish of Tortuga resides the statue of Our Lady of Monserrat, and as a result the parishioners are beneficiaries of many maternal graces. In the month of July, another statue, Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, Queen of Peace visited us as Our Pilgrim Mother and she ensured that we became pilgrim children.
In October our dedicated parish priest Fr Jose Marie Thekkikutte MSFS formed a committee to plan a Holy Rosary Novena Pilgrimage. There are seven communities in the parish and each community was represented by one or two persons. This proved to be effective pastoral care, as each member was able to act as mediator/co-ordinator of the different communities.
The pilgrimage began in the Tortuga community on Thursday, October 19. Prior to the first day, pamphlets were distributed to the shut in, the sick and those who were unable to attend each day because of work or family commitment.
The Holy Rosary Novena Devotion consisted of Marian hymns, novena prayers, the Act of Consecration, intercessory prayers, rosary of the day and concluded with Holy Mass celebrated by Fr Jose Marie.
Each day, the faithful responded to Our Lady’s Message to pray the rosary for peace in the world. We all ventured in our numbers to the various communities as true pilgrims because when Mary says yes, no one can say no! Each community had its own unique outpouring of Our Heavenly Mother’s graces and presence. What an experience! We shall never forget!
In planning we thought that the novena would be nine days, but Our Lady wanted ten days - we dare not say no. Therefore, on Saturday, October 28, we concluded the novena.
On Sunday, October 29, a closing Mass was celebrated with Archbishop Joseph Harris, Fr Jose Marie, Deacon Simon Rostant and an overflowing crowd of the faithful as we embraced praying the Rosary, Holy Mass, a candlelight procession and a light dinner.
A special thank you to Fr Jose Marie for his spiritual direction and commitment, and to all who gave their time, talent and treasure, May God bless you all! May Our Blessed Mother intercede for us. – A parishioner