Global school feeding charity Mary’s Meals will host its first virtual family pilgrimage this year, for those who would like to pray and give thanks for its mission.
Since 2017, members of the Mary’s Meals family have been coming together annually in prayer, reflection and thanksgiving at the Marian shrine in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the charity has its roots. This year, with widespread restrictions on travel, Mary’s Meals is moving the pilgrimage activities online and inviting anyone who would like to join in to save the date – Friday, 13 November to Sunday, 15 November 2020.
The programme of activity will follow the traditions of the last three years as closely as possible in a virtual setting, with attendees from all over the globe praying the Rosary together in many different languages; hearing from the charity’s founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow and his wife Julie about the work of Mary’s Meals and its connection to Medjugorje; and having the chance to follow the stations of the cross on Mount Krizevac (cross mountain).
The pilgrimage will give people a chance to fast in support of Mary’s Meals – there is a fast planned for the first day, Friday 13 November. Those fasting and praying for the work of Mary’s Meals will be showing solidarity with the 1.6 million hungry children who receive daily meals through the charity’s school feeding programmes.
There will also be opportunities to attend Holy Mass and Holy Hour online, streamed from St James’ Parish, and to pray together and give thanks to Our Lady Queen of Peace.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow said: “At first we were very sad when we had to accept the pilgrimage would not be possible this year – but then my wife, Julie, suggested we do it online instead. And now we are actually more excited than ever because so many around the world will be able to take part!
“Mary's Meals is a fruit of Medjugorje and a fruit of prayer. Without prayer there would be no Mary’s Meals. That is why this annual pilgrimage is so important – we gather together to give thanks for the gift of Mary’s Meals and to present all intercessions on behalf of the entire Mary’s Meals family. In this way we go forward trusting in God’s providence.
“And all are welcome – regardless of faith background or any previous involvement in Mary’s Meals. After all, prayer came first in the story of Mary’s Meals, so what better way could there be to join the Mary’s Meals family? And what a delightfully diverse family we are! I think our rosary will be said together in around 20 languages – with kids who eat Mary’s Meals joining from African and India, co-workers from Myanmar and Haiti, supporters from Rome and Poland – and so many more!”
Previous pilgrimage highlights include a Holy Mass of thanksgiving celebrated for the intention of Mary’s Meals led by Archbishop Henryk Hoser, who extolled the “extraordinary work” of the charity and invited worshippers to pray for all those involved. He referred to Mary’s Meals as “a true banquet of love, of sacrifice, of justice and, above all, of mercy.”
All those who would like to join the virtual Mary’s Meals family pilgrimage this year can find out more and access the live stream at www.marysmealsmedjugorje.org.
VIDEO Magnus MacFarlene-Barrow