October 12 Pilgrimage kicks off an exciting Bicentennial year of celebration and evangelization
The Catholic Virginian’s initial report that almost 600 people attended the Pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on October 12 has since grown to over 700 as more information has come in. People from across the diocese, hailing from parishes large and small, came together in shared faith to worship, pray, and grow at a national pilgrimage site in our own back yard.
It was a very special day for the Diocese of Richmond and a great way to unofficially kick off the Bicentennial year. Feedback from pilgrims was immensely positive.
For attendees on their first-ever pilgrimage, the need for us to get it right was tremendous. Their positive feedback is especially encouraging.
The Bishop’s participation was especially noteworthy, not only with his thoughtful words, but in his personal approach at the various sites throughout the day.
– Joe S. from Visitation in Middlesex
The many seasoned pilgrims in attendance were equally enriched by a day carefully crafted with prayer and opportunities for spiritual growth.
My overall experience at the pilgrimage (and I believe everyone from my parish) was WONDERFUL! The plan for the day was perfect, from beginning with prayer with the Bishop to having our own time to wander around the Basilica as well as the other locations.
– Margie C. from St. Jerome in Newport News
One topic frequently in our prayers is inspiring the youth of our diocese, and we were very excited to hear that the highlight of Margie’s day was when she and the five teenage girls she brought encountered a young woman in formation at a local convent. The conversation that ensued was “so natural and welcoming,” the teens all agreed that a trip to the convent would be wonderful in the future… A beautiful witness of the Holy Spirit inspiring vocations in the most organic way.
The day did not lack substantive spiritual learning experiences for those interested in a historical perspective either.
The rosary in the Rosary Garden was my favorite event of the day. Having readers incorporate the history of the diocese with the reflection on the mysteries reminded all of us that the work of bringing the diocese was much more than just building churches and opening the doors; establishing the diocese at the beginning of the 19th century was difficult, stressful, and even dangerous. It was a perfect setting to thank God for those who helped build his Church in America.
– Ed M. from Frances de Sales in Mathews
The Catholic Virginian suggested that the October 12 Pilgrimage “set the tone” for the Bicentennial year ahead… It sounds like great things are in store for the faithful in the Diocese of Richmond!