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In the News: National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

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In the News: National Shrine of The Divine Mercy
Updates and events.

Renovations enhance Shrine and grounds

"One of my passions is to do everything I can at the Shrine to improve the liturgical environment for our pilgrims," says Shrine Rector Fr. Dan Papineau, MIC. "It's so important that we provide the opportunity for them to receive the Sacraments in a dignified, prayerful manner. That's the guiding vision behind the renovations that we have made in the Shrine and are now planning for."

Improvements made recently in the Shrine range from upgrading the confessionals and refinishing the crucifix in the sanctuary to cleaning the murals, painting the side chapels, and installing a new presider's chair for liturgies.

Plans are also under way to repair the granite steps and install a new guardrail at the main entrance of the Shrine some time in 2002.

The grounds on Eden Hill have seen some refurbishing as well. The roads around the Shrine have been resurfaced. A parking plaza has been created to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims who travel here by both bus and car. And a bronze statue of The Divine Mercy now greets pilgrims and visitors who drive up Eden Hill's main entrance to the parking plaza.

Looking to future improvements on the grounds, a new statue of St. Therese recently arrived from Italy, and it will be placed in an outdoor shrine in a grove of spruce trees near the Shrine.

Much of the roadwork and the upgrading of the confessionals were possible thanks to Frank Manafort and his company, Manafort Brothers Inc. Another benefactor, Joseph Eugene Garvey, funded the bronze Divine Mercy statue.

"We are so grateful for the generosity of these very special Marian Helpers," says Fr. Dan.

In the Shrine itself, Fr. Dan is particularly pleased with the upgrading of the confessionals. "We're just completing the work," he says, "with the goal of providing more privacy and increased space for our penitents. The three cubicles have been condensed into two, better lighting and ventilation have been installed, and we've replaced the entrance curtains with hardwood doors."

According to Fr. Dan, the eventual plan is to provide more confessionals at the Shrine. "At some point, we plan to relocate our Gift Shop in order to make room for more confessionals and an adoration chapel below the Shrine. But we are still exploring our options for a new location for the Gift Shop," he says.

"In these difficult times, people are focusing more on the value of human life and the importance of being right with God," Fr. Dan explains. "So I foresee that we will need more confessionals at the Shrine as people come in growing numbers to receive this great Sacrament of Mercy."

Winter Schedule:National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

During the winter months, pilgrims are welcome to the Shrine and grounds, says Shrine Rector Fr. Dan Papineau, MIC -- although access to some outdoor shrines may be limited due to weather conditions.

Winter Concerts
On Sat., Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., the Berkshire Children's Chorus will perform a holiday concert at the Shrine. Then, on Fri., Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m., the Berkshire Concert Choir will present their annual holiday concert. A Christmas concert with harp and voice is also being planned, but no date is set yet. Harpist Carol Emmanuel and soprano Cardinale Montano will perform. Concert dates subject to change. Please contact the Shrine in advance to confirm.

Novena for Life
Last spring, the Shrine began a monthly novena for the unborn to honor the Infant Jesus and to make reparation for sins committed against life. The novena continues through the end of the year on the following Fridays from 7-9 p.m.: Nov. 23 and Dec. 28.

Healing Masses
The Mother of Divine Mercy Prayer Group hosts a healing Mass on the last Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. At the Nov. 29 and Dec. 27 healing Masses, music will be provided by Heartsong, a contemporary Catholic music ministry.

For more information about any of these events, e-mail us at, or call us at 413-298-3931.

©2001 Marians of the Immaculate Conception. All rights reserved.