Feast of the Assumption - Pledges for Our Lady
On this date, exactly 40 years ago, approximately 2,000 people made a pilgrimage to our campus, fulfilling an ardent desire of Archbishop Lefebvre that St. Mary’s would be a place of pilgrimage. On that same day, the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, our venerable founder laid the cornerstone for the proposed rebuilding of the Immaculata and our current Assumption Chapel became the main place for offering the sacrifice of the Mass on campus.
Today, four decades later, all of the faithful who have, in a way, made a pilgrimage to St. Mary’s with their families to live here will make their monetary pledges to the Immaculata for rebuilding her sanctuary. They will place their pledge cards in a receptacle at the feet of Our Lady in the chapel, thus dedicating their promise to her for the next five years. These monetary pledges will be like that cornerstone, a first visible step towards the completion of the church. Assumption Chapel has been their home for a long time, but now Providence has made it clear that a much larger and grander sanctuary must be built to honor the Immaculata.
While the parishioners of Assumption Chapel have the primary responsibility to rebuild the Immaculata, we have been overwhelmed in recent months by the interest of so many of you who do not live here but who have looked on our project with hope. Your excitement is not without reason since this project represents a victory for Our Lady and a concrete step towards the restoration of all things in Christ. Your interest is a response to Archbishop Lefebvre’s desire that this church, dedicated to Our Lady in the heart of the United States, be considered a “national basilica,” to use his own words. I would say that it is a “basilica” of devotion to her Immaculate Heart and a testament to the growth and success of Catholic Tradition.
May the Immaculata, whose stainlessness is the reason for her bodily Assumption into Heaven on this day, give us a strong desire to honor her. “For He who is mighty has done great things unto me.” If God Himself honors her for all generations, as she predicted in her Magnificat, then we, her children, should as well. This project is a very tangible way to honor her and for each of you to have the privilege of doing something great for her.