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The 4 Routes of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage

What is the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage?


The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage (NEP) is a part of the U.S. Catholic Church’s National Eucharistic Revival. It is combination of four 65-day pilgrimages together with the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist, whom Catholics firmly believe is Jesus Christ miraculously but truly and substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine after the prayers of consecration by a Catholic priest at Mass. 


The Eastern Route leaves from the Atlantic Ocean in New Haven; the Western route from the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco; the Northern Route leaves from near the Canadian border  in Bermidji, Minnesota; and the Southern Route leaves from the Mexican border, in Brownsville, Texas. 


All four routes will converge in Indianapolis on July 16, the day before the first National Eucharistic Congress in the United States in 83 years. 


Collectively, the four routes will traverse 6,500 miles, 27 states, and 65 Catholic dioceses. 


The Eastern Route is named after St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who converted to the Catholic faith because of her belief in the Real Presence after having witnessed a Eucharistic procession. 


The Western Route is named after St. Junipero Serra, who journeyed more than 7,000 miles on foot through Mexico and California setting up Missions centered around Mission Churches holding the Blessed Sacrament. 


The Southern Route is named after St. Juan Diego, who received the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and who used to walk 15 miles each day to daily Mass. 


And the Northern Route is named after the Blessed Virgin Mary, who in the Annunciation received within her the Word-made-flesh and in the Visitation brought him within her to St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist, anticipations of the way Catholics are able to receive Jesus, the Blessed fruit of her womb, within us in Holy Communion and have the privilege of bringing him to others, like is happening on this Eucharistic Pilgrimage. 


What are the dates of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage? 


May 17 through July 16. 


What is the itinerary of the Seton Route? 


The Seton Route begins in New Haven, Connecticut, on May 17 and continues until July 16 in Indianapolis, where the first National Eucharistic Congress since 1941 will take place. Along the Route, the pilgrimage will traverse the following Dioceses and Archdioceses: Hartford, Bridgeport, New York, Brooklyn, Metuchen, Trenton, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Baltimore, Washington DC, Altoona-Johnstown, Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Wheeling-Charleston, Steubenville, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. 


For a map of our route, please click here


For a detailed itinerary of the public events — Masses, processions, periods of adoration and more — along the Route, please click here


Who is St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and why was she chosen as the patroness of the Route? 


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first American-born canonized saint in the Catholic Church. She converted from Episcopalianism as a result of being drawn to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. After her conversion, she helped found the Sisters of Charity and opened the first free Catholic school of girls in the United States in 1810, laying the foundation for what is now the parochial school system in the United States. The Seton Pilgrims are praying that many people who encounter the Blessed Sacrament along our route will come to regard the Eucharistic Jesus as she did and yearn to transmit to others, particularly the younger generation, this treasure. 


Who are the pilgrims on the Seton Route? 


The main, official, pilgrims on the Seton Route are five “perpetual pilgrims,” one full-time chaplain, several part-time chaplains, a seminarian and several religious brothers. They will be joined by others in a Eucharistic “Caravan,” some for the entirety of the pilgrimage, others for several days, one day, or part of a day. 


The perpetual pilgrims are Dominic Carstens, Zoe Dongas, Marina Frattaroli, Natalie Garza, and Amayrani Higueldo. 


The full-time chaplain is Fr. Roger Landry


The part-time chaplains are Fr. Stephen Rooney (May 17-25), Fr. Pierre Toussaint, CFR (May 25-June 1), Fr. Michelangelo, CFR (June 1-8), Fr. Joesph Mary, CFR (June 8-15), Fr. Seraphim, CFR (June 15-22), Fr. Justin, CFR (June 22-29), Fr. Joseph Michael, CFR (June 29-July 6), Fr. Giuseppe, CFR (July 6-16). 


The religious brothers who will be accompanying the route are from the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR): Brother Jan (May 17-25), Postulants (May 25-June 1), Novices (June 1-15), Br. Joseph Pio (June 15-22), and Brother Lazarus (June 22-July 6). 


The seminarian is Christoph Bernas, from Carnegie, Pennsylvania, who is studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Prior to entering seminary, he studied Architectural Engineering at Penn State. 


With the pilgrims along the entirety of the Route as members of the Caravan are four Daughters the Mary, Mother of Healing Love.


Dominic Carstens is a native of Wyoming, where he attends Wyoming Catholic College. 


Zoe Dongas is a Filipino-American actor, musician born in Nashville and living in New York City. She holds a BM in Music Theatre and a minor in International Studies from Oklahoma City University. 


Marina Frattaroli, a native of Dallas, is a graduate of Duke University and Columbia University Law School, who became a Catholic in December 2022. 


Natalie Garza (Team Lead) is a Texas native, a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, who teaches high school theology at St. James Academy in Kansas City.


Amayrani Higueldo is originally from Acapulco and lives in Norristown, Pennsylvania. She is a registered nurse who has worked in youth ministry for seven years at St. Patrick’s Church in Norristown. 


Can others join the Eucharistic pilgrimage? 


Yes, as members of the Caravan. It is possible to participate in each of the public events — Masses, receptions, holy hours, periods of adoration and more — along the pilgrimage. Members of the Caravan are responsible for their own food and lodging. Some events along the itinerary, arranged by particular Dioceses and parishes, are just for the perpetual pilgrims, and there are parts of the route that, either because of the roads that need to be taken, the distance or whether, in which the Blessed Sacrament will be driven in the support van by the pilgrims. Members of the Caravan in those situations would be responsible for their own transportation. 


What will a typical day be like along the pilgrimage? 


Some days will vary, but normally a day will begin with Mass in one of the Churches along the pilgrimage route. After that, there will be a “solemn Eucharistic procession” with the clergy and faithful of that parish or Diocese. After the “solemn Procession,” normally the chaplains on the Route, together with the perpetual pilgrims, seminarians, religious brothers and members of the Caravan will take it from there journeying in procession to one or more Churches during the day, stopping in those Churches for holy hours or periods of adoration. At the end of the day, the pilgrims will normally stop in a parish that will host all night adoration. 


Where will the pilgrims be staying along the way? 


The host parishes along the route have generously taken on the responsibility for the pilgrims’ lodging. The perpetual pilgrims will be staying in pairs or more in individual homes. Normally the priests and seminarians will be staying with the clergy of the parish in the parish rectory. 

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