Greetings, parish family, and to all of those who may find themselves reading this bulletin article. Happy New Year!

I am just so amazed by the Lord’s timing, especially as Fr. Chas has been deepening our understanding of the gift of prophecy and what the Lord has put on my heart to share with you about the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadeloupe last month.

Before I go into my story I want to say Thank you to Fr. Chas for inviting our parish on this adventure. Truly, one of my greatest joys was watching Fr. minister to the other pilgrims. So many came to me later and expressed the love and care that they had experienced from him as our chaplain. What a gift!

This story begins long before the trip was set to leave. I have been following the teachings of Christopher West and The Theology of the Body for sometime now after experiencing a handful of his talks and events. Over the years, I have received many emails about different events and pilgrimages that they have advertised. Sure enough, in my email from the TOB institute this particular pilgrimage came up. My initial thoughts as I erased it from my inbox were how happy I was that Fr. Chas got to go so close to his birthday and how blessed the pilgrims would be to have him guide them.

Then a few weeks later in adoration my prayer time was interrupted by our Blessed Mother. She filled my heart with a deep, stirring , urgent desire to go on this trip as She said these words to me, “Sarra, I need you to come to Mexico. I have so many things to show you and to teach you.” After this encounter, the rest of the plans fell miraculously into place.

Fast forward to the third day of the trip. We had just arrived at the church of the fifth apparition where Mary appeared to Juan Diego’s uncle and healed Him. We had to wait outside for awhile before we could go in for mass and reflections. While talking with my roommates we saw three monks slowly make their way down the stairs out of the church. We continued our conversation, and looking back up I noticed the monk in the middle was looking at me. I quickly dismissed this and thought, “No, he must be looking at something else,” and I looked back down. I looked back up and again this monk’s piercing blue eyes caught mine. My roommates asked “Is that monk looking at you?” I said, “I think so,” as I looked back down. When I lifted my eyes a third time the monk was standing right in front of me. It was as if time stopped; everything around us disappeared except His blue eyes gazing into mine. He said this, “ Mary will call you by your name.” Then he asked what my name was. I told him and a beaming smile fell across his face as he repeated the words little Sarra in Spanish. He continued. “She is calling you, little Sarra. She has many things to teach you. She has something for you, go and meet her.” Then, as if time came back into full speed the moment ended and the monk walked off as quickly as He had appeared. His prophetic word gave me so much consolation and confirmation that I was in fact supposed to be there.

That is exactly what happened on this pilgrimage I met our mother all over again in new and exciting ways. Her presence came through the beautiful teachings of the Theology of the Body Institute. She revealed herself while learning about two soon to be Saints, Blessed Conchita and Blessed Miguel Pro, who followed her example of being totally open to the Holy Spirit so wonderfully in their lives.

Through this experience, I have found a new place to go for healing, restoration, and to be very close to Jesus, our Blessed Mother’s womb. It is fertile, it is life-giving, and it is paradise. She revealed so many things to me in this very place. I’ll leave you with this word for me but I also believe for all of you. “Am I not your mother? If I can restore a whole land can I not restore you? My Immaculate Heart will triumph over your life.” – Mother Mary

Many blessings on all of your faith journeys, and may we all remain small and continue to be drawn closer to Jesus through Mary our Blessed Mother.

Sarra Smith,

St. John Parishioner