February 27, 2024 // Diocese

National Eucharistic Pilgrimage to Visit 11 Parishes Across Diocese 

Officials with the National Eucharistic Revival announced on Thursday, February 22, detail of the four routes for the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage that will traverse the United States this summer. The Marian Route, which begins in Crookston, Minnesota, on May 17, will stop at 11 parishes in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend from July 5-10.

“A cross-country pilgrimage of this scale has never been attempted before,” said Tim Glemkowski, CEO of the Denver-based National Eucharistic Congress Inc., in a statement announcing updated routes and related events. “It will be a tremendously powerful action of witness and intercession as it interacts with local parish communities at stops all along the way.”

This is the Marian Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage that will be travelling through Indiana this summer.

Stops in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

July 5: St. Therese, Little Flower, South Bend

July 5-7: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame

July 7: St. Mary of the Annunciation, Bristol

July 7: St. Joseph, Lagrange

July 7-8: St. Anthony of Padua, Angola

July 8: St. Michael, Waterloo

July 8: Immaculate Conception, Auburn

July 8-9: St. Vincent de Paul, Fort Wayne

July 9: St. Francis Xavier, Pierceton

July 9: Sacred Heart, Warsaw

July 9-10: St. Michael, Plymouth

Father Julius Okojie, Pastor of St. Therese, Little Flower Church in South Bend, said that, even though the pilgrimage is still several months away, his parish will soon initiate preparations to welcome pilgrims to the diocese.

“I mean, how often do you get a national pilgrimage [to] pass through your parish?” Father Okojie asked. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience, so we’re going to be all in for it.”

Father Okojie also spoke of the importance of reviving belief in the True Presence. Summarizing documents from the Second Vatican Council, he said that without the Eucharist, there is no Church.

“It is distinctive for us as Catholics that we have this Real Presence’ – not just real presence in the spiritual sense, the Real Presence in the actual elements of bread and wine.”

He continued that he strongly believes that this experience would be a “great faith boost” for parishioners in the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist and would “revamp their understanding of what it really means to be a Eucharistic Church.”

Speaking of the Catholic community in South Bend, Father Okojie called this a great opportunity for members of the various parishes in the area to gather together and pray in a common space.

During his Q&A session at the Rekindle the Fire men’s conference in Fort Wayne on Saturday, February 24, Bishop Rhoades was asked about the National Eucharistic Revival and the upcoming National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis. He spoke about his eagerness that one of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage routes would be traveling through the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

“I’m really excited that this summer, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimages will take place – the four processions that will cover the whole United States, where the Blessed Sacrament will be carried in procession from California to Indianapolis, one from Brownsville, Texas, to Indianapolis, another one from New Haven, Connecticut, to Indianapolis, and then the one that will pass through our diocese, from Crookston, Minnesota, the source of the Mississippi River. … I really want to encourage you to check it out when the Blessed Sacrament will be in your area. And I want to encourage you to come out, and invite others to come out, to give witness to your faith by coming out to honor Our Lord, to adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament.”

All four routes of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, including the Marian Route, will meet in Indianapolis this summer when the National Eucharistic Congress begins on July 17. The congress is the launch point for the final year of the National Eucharistic Revival that will encourage people to “go out on mission” to share the news of our Eucharistic Lord as the Church enters its universal jubilee in 2025.

Each pilgrimage route will be led by a group of “Perpetual Pilgrims,” who will be young adults ages 19-29 who have been selected in an application process to travel the full length of each route. Their names will be announced on Monday, March 11.

People who wish to travel as a “day pilgrim” or attend a pilgrimage-related event along the routes may register online at eucharisticpilgrimage.org. Day pilgrims must make their own arrangements for meals, transportation, and lodging, as needed.

OSV News contributed to this report.

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