The… La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, MA., is once more engulfed in lights – over 400,000 of them – for the Christmas season, beginning Thanksgiving Day, with the message of "Make It Known."
Shrine director the Rev. Ted Brown, M.S., says the theme of the 2016 season comes from both Mother Mary and Jesus Christ's message to spread the word of the Gospel, making known the Good News.
"Coming off the Year of Mercy, we want to continue to emphasize Christ's message of love and compassion," Fr. Brown said. "During the Year of Mercy, perhaps we've experienced mercy ourselves, and it's now time to bring it into the world...the mercy we've received, we now want to bring into the world that needs to be touched by God's love and care."
A Cast of Thousands
The Festival of Lights, which draws crowds numbering into the thousands, officially runs from 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day until January 1, 2017. While many of the popular staples will come back for another year – such as Clopper the Donkey at the life-size Nativity scene, the hot chocolate and toddy booths and the Creche Museum – a new feature will be the lighted outlines of angels at each of the 14 Stations of the Cross.
In addition, the weekends will offer a 20-minute trolley ride around the Shrine grounds to take visitors places where cars cannot go, or to give those who do not wish to walk a chance to view the sights. Admission is free and Brown believes that the Festival of Lights offers a low-cost night out for many families who want to treat their children to something special.