The Pilgrim Chapel
The Holy Family Monthly Home Visit is a providential and effective means for transforming each Christian family into a “holy family” and each home into a new “Nazareth”. Such, in fact, is the purpose of this devotion, and it seeks to accomplish it by having each family receive into its own dwelling the traveling “Holy Family Statue.” For the Pilgrim Statue journeys from one home to another through the arrangement of different groups of families. Each family within each group keeps the statue for a given period of time agreed upon by the families in each group.
Through such pilgrim visits, the Holy Family enlightens and strengthens the welcoming family in a way that is not always immediately visible. Yet, with time, the family and its individual members begin to experience an awareness of something that wasn’t there previously: they are gradually becoming aware of their identity, that is, of who they are, and of their mission, that is, of what they can and should do. Such an experience continues to grow and mature, manifesting itself most often in a subtle but total change of attitude and interior disposition which result in a more Christian way of thinking, feeling and acting. A greater concern and care is increasingly shown for trust, relationships and interdependence.
Through the proper celebration of the Reception, Home Liturgy, and Farewell ceremonies, all family members are enabled to grow in their understanding of the Word and its practical application to their daily lives. It is fleshing out such revealed realities in their individual and family lifestyle that each household is gradually transformed into a first school of the truest humanism, into a church in miniature of liturgical celebration and religious experience, and, finally, into a cradle of wholeness and holiness of life and love, wherein each individual’s calling in life is discerned, nourished and brought to fruitful realization.
It is in living out the family’ identity and in faithfully carrying out its mission in the Church and in the world that each disciple family gradually becomes a holy family and each home a new Nazareth.
By C.L. Stoeber, S.F.