On October 7, 1993, the grotto at Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church in San Fernando was born. Inspired by his trip to Medjugorje, Fr Emmanuel Pierre, parish priest of OLPH at the time, decided to channel this inspiration into the construction of a grotto and bring his vision to reality. The grotto was solemnly blessed by the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin.
Twenty-five years later on Sunday, October 7, 2018, the parish of OLPH celebrated the silver jubilee of Our Lady’s grotto with its re-blessing by Fr Pierre, followed by the recitation of the Holy Rosary at the grotto led by OLPH’s Legion of Mary, and the celebration of Mass by Fr Pierre. Parish priest Fr David Khan concelebrated.
With a call to see the value in the many gifts of life, including marriage, Fr Pierre engaged parishioners to go beyond the common ideology of settling for the “too little of life”. He encouraged all to be cognisant of the three choices we are often faced with when tough decisions bombard us in our trails: to endure, to give up and to work on it.
Throughout the gospels, the latter has proven to be the most rewarding for with hard work and sacrifice, the beauty of life’s relationships, possessions and achievements become actualised.
Quoting the lyrics of Gordon MacRae, “And love can come to everyone, the best thingsin life are free”, Fr Pierreparadoxically enlightened all on the concept of Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Sweat Equity’. He explained that all good things in life require hard work and sweat; whether it is a good education, a lasting friendship or strength of character—they all come with the cost of sacrifice.
In his final message to parishioners, Fr Pierre called each individual to see the value of life’s gifts. He encouraged all to give of oneself when called upon to serve and never overlook in your calculations, the priceless gift of a good home; a place where life’s shocks are comforted with friendliness and hospitality.
For the month of October, Holy Mass is celebrated every Thursday at OLPH at 6 p.m. starting with the rosary led by various schools at the grotto from 5.30 p.m. All are invited to attend. – Sarah Dwarika