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Cincinnati Catholics share faith over course of 300-mile pilgrimage

J-P Mauro - published on 06/24/21

To mark the archdiocese's bicentennial, the 33-day, 300-mile excursion made stops at every archdiocesan parish.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has completed a pilgrimage for its bicentennial anniversary. The route took 33 days to complete, during which time the pilgrims visited 33 parishes in Ohio. 

The pilgrimage began 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 started the trek with a special statue of Our Lady of Fatima, blessed by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr. The statue was transported upon a small litter, which was carried by at least two people at all times. 

The route

The route was described by the archdiocese as the longest Marian pilgrimage route in the U.S. Traveling 300 miles, the group made stops at parishes in every deanery of the archdiocese. The event was organized in stages of 3 or 4 days, with a rotating cast of pilgrims joining the group for each portion. 

The pilgrimage ended at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains on the day of the bicentennial, Saturday, June 19, 2021. The archbishop re-consecrated the archdiocese to Jesus through Mary during a special Mass commemorating the anniversary. 

Each of the 33 days began with Mass at the host parish the pilgrimage arrived at the previous evening. The pilgrims then proceeded to the next parish, during which they conducted a prayer routine. These routines covered prayer intentions that people who could not walk submitted via the archdiocesan website. 

The experience

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati documented the journey in a brief video, featured above. Each stop of the pilgrimage shows the group welcomed by local faithful. The pilgrims, many of them young adults, beamed with faithful witness. One said of the experience: 

“I hope a lasting effect is that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has a deeper sense of unity and connectedness. Now you have all these people who have seen [the procession], from the North-most part of the diocese all the way to the cathedral. What a gift it’s been to have gone from parish to parish. To be hosted by all these different families who all share the same faith and home. 

“You know, how this has radiated Christ, I think, is just in the remarkable witness that it is to be walking through the streets of our entire archdiocese and for people to see that, yes, the faith is alive and strong.”

Of the pilgrimage, the archdiocese remarked on its website: 

The Bicentennial Marian Pilgrimage was a huge success! Thank you to all of our pilgrims, participating parishes, sponsors and anyone else who joined us on this historic journey across the Archdiocese.

In honor of the bicentennial, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has launched a new website recording its extensive history. Click here to learn more about about their 200 years of faith, and the pilgrimage. 

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