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Archdiocese of Cincinnati plans pilgrimage for bicentennial

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John Burger - published on 04/05/21

Archbishop Schnurr will reconsecrate local Church to Jesus through Mary.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, is about to celebrate its 200th anniversary in June, and in order to prepare, it is holding a 33-day, 300-mile Marian pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage begins on Sunday, May 16, with a Mass at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Russells Point, Ohio. From there, a small group of pilgrims will begin walking with a special statue of Our Lady of Fatima, blessed by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr for this occasion.

The pilgrimage will make stops at parishes in every deanery of the archdiocese and will be highlighted by four cornerstone family events. It will end at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains on the day of the bicentennial, Saturday, June 19. On that day, the Archbishop will celebrate Mass and re-consecrate the archdiocese to Jesus through Mary.

“This is the longest Marian Pilgrimage in the U.S. — 33 days long, spanning more than 300 miles with stops at 33 parishes in every deanery of the archdiocese,” the archdiocese said in promotional material.

The archdiocese is recruiting individuals to commit to portions of the pilgrimage. Each portion will cover three to four days of the route. The goal is to have at least eight pilgrims processing with the statue every day.

Each day will begin with pilgrims celebrating Mass at the host parish at which they arrived the previous evening. After Mass, pilgrims will begin their journey to the next host parish, processing with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The average route will be about 10 miles. Pilgrims will have a prayer routine throughout the day that will include praying for intentions people can submit on the pilgrimage website. Individuals, groups or families who would like to walk a portion of the pilgrimage may join pilgrims along the route. The itinerary on some days will include stops in between the host parishes. These stops include local homeless shelters, pregnancy centers and correctional institutions. The day will end with a Marian celebration at the next host parish.

Persons who wish to participate “virtually” can find daily prayers and resources on the website in order to “walk” the same prayer journey as the pilgrims. 

Of pilgrimages in general, the archdiocese said that “the external journey is meant to ignite an internal spiritual journey of conversion. Pilgrimages can be life changing. It is a deep act of prayer in which individuals bring special intentions, hopes for the future and hearts ready to be transformed to more fully radiate Christ to the world.”

The four “cornerstone” events that are planned include.

  • May 16: Opening Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Russells Point
  • May 21: Mass and Concert at the Maria Stein Shrine
  • May 29: Mass celebrated by Archbishop Schnurr and Family Concert at Chaminade Julienne High School Roger Glass Stadium
  • June 19: Family Concert at Fountain Square in Downtown Cincinnati with Marian Consecration

The archdiocese has also launched a website with an extensive timeline history, ethnic and religious communities in ministry in the archdiocese and events planned in celebration of the bicentennial. 

The Diocese of Cincinnati was established with territory carved out of the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky. At present, the archdiocese comprises 19 counties in western and southwestern Ohio and more than 440,000 Catholics. 


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ChurchChurch HistoryPilgrimages
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