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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

5 years ago -A Basilica for the Immaculate

In the spirit of “Friend lost never was”
I recall a happy event of five years ago. Five years ago today, I was in France with Fr. Anthony for the Enthronment of the statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Basilica that had been built by Fr. Raffali, father and founder of the Oeuvre de l’Etoile (The Work of the Star) near Nimes in France.
How about that frying pan?

It was a quiet occasion but not without its own splendour. For many years Father Raffali had been building a Basilica “for Our Lady.” That in itself is a wonderful project and its completion after many years was worthy of celebration. We had watched the progress of the building wondering if it could be more than its basement where until five years ago, Mass had always been offered.

It was a touching moment when Father carried the beloved statue of the basement to its new place of entronement over the High Altar.
Consecration before the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Those who participated in the ceremony
A majestic and fervent preacher of Her Glories
Fr. Raffali is a priest of the diocese of Nimes. His many years of priesthood have been centered on his small school for boys in a work called ‘l’Oeuvre de l’Etoile’ referring to Our Lady who is given the title ‘Star of the Sea.’ Father is a man of books and since the day is taken up with running every aspect of his school, he spends many hours at night studying and reading (including the Fathers in Greek).
I ask you to please pray for Father Maurice Raffali. He is a convinced ‘hard’ when it comes to all that concerns the crisis in the Church but we know that his great love after God is She who is all powerful in Heaven by Her intercession. Please offer your rosaries for this hard working priest that the Queen of Heaven whom he so willed to honour by building Her a basilica will enlighten his mind and turn him to recognise the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for Him

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