God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Lourdes, France – May 2005

Jennifer Jones –
She played the part of Bernadette
The Song of Bernadette (1943)
Via Wikipedia Commons

Notes and reflections from my journal 12 years ago.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005. . . Our American Airlines jet plane, a Boeing 767, lands smoothly at Charles D’Gualle Airport in France after an eight hour flight from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.  A nearby train brings me the 15 miles to the Port Royal Station in the heart of Paris, just 200 yards away from my residence, the Redemptorist House. 

Wednesday, May 11 . . . In the Montparnasse Station I board the TGV train, capable of speeds exceeding 185 mph, for the 700 mile trip to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.  The trip takes five and a half hours.  In the next two days, I offer Mass in a Chapel overlooking the Grotto where Mary appeared to little Bernadette.

To reach the Chapel required a tough uphill walk on a steep, winding roadway.  As in all times, since 1858, the sick, the lame, the handicapped have come to Lourdes to pray for help, not necessarily for miracles, but to realize more deeply Mary’s loving presence in their difficult lives.  After witnessing the many afflictions that can beset our physical bodies, I resolved to never complain about any of my troubles.

Thursday, May 12 . . . A rainy morning.  An unusual happening took place in my hotel yesterday in my first moments there.  As I stepped out of the elevator on the fourth floor, I faced complete darkness.  Suddenly a sensor picked up my presence and lights went on everywhere: a new experience for me.  I tied this happening to everyday life.  At times, darkness fills my mind.  The Holy Spirit (Our Divine Sensor) picks up my prayer for help.  Then a light goes on in my mind and I see the way to peace!

From my first days in the Major Seminary (1938 – 1944), little Bernadette has always inspired me to a deeper love of the Virgin Mary.  One night in the Seminary, in 1943, we seminarians saw the movie, “The Song of Bernadette”.  Bernadette’s humility and patience in her on-going sickness took hold of my heart and has never left it. (To this day, in my old age, she still inspires me on a daily basis!)

Friday, May 13 . . . As the TGV train speeds through the countryside of Paris, I have much quiet time to think of the shortness of life, and the wisdom of serving God.

Mary, Our Mother – is an inspiration to all of us.  A very Happy Mothers’ Day to all those women who have given us life – ours AND theirs!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 15, 2017 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , ,


  1. Dear Father George,
    It is so nice to see your smiling face and read your encouraging, loving words. I miss seeing you at Midway mass, and I pray for you every day. Thank you so much for blessing us with your love and wisdom. ❤️🙏. I read one of your three minute homilies daily. God bless you!

    Comment by Patricia Melton | May 15, 2017 | Reply

  2. Father George, I missed seeing the new movie on Saint Bernadette that just cameout a few years ago and was on EWTN.

    I got a “push” to try to get the DVD.  The format is European-Region 2but that was not a problem as I have a multi-format playerdue to a liking for the Irish DVDs that come up in the European-Region 2 versus the American Region 1
    I tried getting it from Amazon.fr but they indicated (in French) that they would notship to the United States.  I tried several other approaches and nothing worked. Finally, I said a prayer to St Bernadette (one of my favorite saints along with her French”sister” Therese of Lisieux) to help me if it was God’s will to get the DVD. Then, a “door” opened and I found a place to order the DVD.  I think it is the Catholic bookstoreand/or cinema near the shrine that has the DVD.  It cost me about $90 (85 Euro) so I told mywife Peg that this was an early Father’s day present for me. The DVD arrived in about a week – my wife and I watched it – it is in French with English subtitles,and we were spellbound.  They found the perfect actress to play Bernadette and I think the portrayal ofthe local clergy (who were fearless with dealing with the local government) was on the money. So, you see, Saint Bernadette, in her simple, but profound way, is still at work, helping people down here. God speed and keep on writing,David SheehanCrowley (Fort Worth), Texas

    Comment by David J Sheehan | May 15, 2017 | Reply

  3. Such a lovely story. Thanks for sharing your stories with us.
    Bud Weston

    Comment by Bud | May 15, 2017 | Reply

  4. Thank you Fr. George…powerful reminder of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Our Blessed Mother. Your words bring such love & wise instruction into our lives. Blessings, Love & Gratitude, marianne

    Comment by mcs | May 16, 2017 | Reply

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