By Bertilla Watanabe
The sun came out to join the festivities on our Jubilee Day, June 26, as priests, altar servers, choirs, flower girls, Knights of Columbus and members of the congregation gathered outside to witness the blessing of the newly built grotto for Mother Mary at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Vancouver.
Following the blessing, led by altar servers and the Honour Guard of the Knights of Columbus, the crowd processed from the grotto, up Crown Street and into the main church with the beautiful icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help held high. Immaculate Mary was the natural choice for a hymn of praise to our Blessed Mother.
At the homily, Provincial Superior Fr. Mark Miller, preached to a packed church on the virtues of Mary and the significance of distinctive features of the icon. A joyful parade of children with little posies from the garden came forward to present their bouquets to Mary while flower girls in crisp white dresses strewed petals around the icon.
A beautiful selection of Marian hymns was sung at Mass by the choir.
Five Redemptorists including the Provincial Superior, Fr. Mark Miller, were present to celebrate the 150th Jubilee Celebration of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, making it a very memorable celebration for all who attended.
Fr. Mark arrived Wednesday night from Toronto in good time for his three-day Mission talks which began on the Thursday night before Jubilee Sunday. Tim and Bernadette Mah, a husband and wife team of musicians from the neighbouring parish of Immaculate Conception, helped create a celebratory mood with their lively selection of Gospel and contemporary hymns on those days.
Fr. Brendan Boland who recently turned 93, was given a Jubilee award for his long service and dedication to our parish. He thanked God and all present for the opportunity to serve in this parish.
It was no easy task selecting the 25 good stewards who would receive the special Jubilee Award to mark the 150th anniversary of the icon. The awards were given to honour volunteers who shared their time, talent and treasure in outstanding ways. Congratulations, certificates and gifts of appreciation were extended to all for their generous service:
Fr. Brendan Boland
Sue Ellen Griffin
Sr. Roberta Mullin