You can meet many new and interesting people on one of the Campaign Life Coalition’s bus trips. The recent Festival of Lights tour to Our Lady of Fatima Shrine was no exception.
With two buses full of people, off we went to the Fatima Shrine in Lewiston, New York. November 29 was a clear, sunny day with great blue skies, and only a little chill in the air. Inside the buses, people talked and laughed. In one of the buses, pro-life activist and Interim writer Father Ted Colleton kept us entertained with an assortment of jokes. When the mood struck, Christmas songs rang out.
Soon we were at the border, and then off to the Fatima Shrine for a noon mass. When we got there, we found that mass had already begun, so Fr. Colleton offered to celebrate a mass for us later that afternoon.
With about 45 minutes on their hands, the group split up. Some went to the gift shop, others went to the cafeteria, and the rest just walked around the beautiful courtyard of the Fatima shrine. In the courtyard there were large statues of Jesus, Mary, and the saints. These pure white statues were a sight to behold on such a beautiful day.
After mass, most of the people went to the cafeteria for lunch. Many ate lightly in anticipation of a sumptuous buffet at the renowned Salvatore’s restaurant in Williamsville, N.Y.
Soon it was back on the bus for Salvatore’s, an excellent Italian restaurant where a buffet was laid out. After a quick grace from Fr. Colleton, the meal began. From salad to pumpkin pie, there were many things to please the palate. Following the meal, people walked around Salvatore’s exquisitely decorated front and back foyers. It was easy to tell that Salvatore’s knew how to get into the Christmas spirit. The halls were colored with huge displays like mechanical penguins throwing snow balls, and a moving skater doing figure 8s.
It then back to the Fatima shrine for the Festival of Lights Gala. The air had turned a bit cold but that didn’t stop people from leaving the buses and walking around. A dazzling array of lights and colors filled the courtyard. When standing on the roof of the shrine, the grounds were breathtaking. The glow from the lights lit up the entire area.
Soon it was back on the buses and on to the Canadian Falls to see the Christmas lights. After driving through the lights it was back home to Toronto for everyone.
The Festival of Lights was an exciting trip for all who came along. The people were friendly, the shrine was breathtaking, and the food at Salvatore’s was delicious Yet the best part of all was the lights themselves.
Campaign Life Coalition’s bus tours are an important fund-raising activity. The next tour is scheduled for July at the Ste. Anne de Beaupre Shrine in Quebec. See the Interim for details.