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Article: National Eucharistic Pilgrimage participants will walk among American saints on Eastern route

This article appeared in The Dialog.

By Maria Wiering OSV News May 20, 2024

By boats, over bridges and along byways, pilgrims on the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage‘s eastern route will accompany the Eucharist to many sites associated with America’s saints as they make their way across eight states and the District of Columbia.

Beginning in New Haven, Connecticut, May 18, the day before Pentecost, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Route is one of four National Pilgrimage Routes that will converge in Indianapolis ahead of the July 17-21 National Eucharistic Congress. The pilgrimage and the congress are part of the National Eucharistic Revival, a three-year initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that launched in 2022.

The roughly 1,000-mile route will be traveled by six perpetual pilgrims accompanied by Father Roger Landry, a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, who serves as the Catholic chaplain at Columbia University in New York. While Catholics may join the pilgrims for legs of their journey, they are especially encouraged to join the route’s public events, which include Masses, all-night adoration, a boat-based procession, service projects, testimonies, socializing and meals with regional flair. The route is named for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint, and includes stops at places she served in New York and Maryland.

The following is a list of selected highlights from the pilgrimage’s Eastern route. Find information for the full Seton Route at

Blessed Michael McGivney Parish, New Haven, Connecticut: The pilgrimage begins May 18 with a solemn, extended vigil Mass for Pentecost followed by all-night Eucharistic adoration at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, where Blessed Michael McGiveny was ministering when he founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882. The parish church now houses his tomb. The pilgrims process May 19 to the nearby parish of St. Joseph for Mass before traveling by boat to Bridgeport.

St. Frances Cabrini Shrine, New York: After journeying through the Bridgeport Diocese, the pilgrims will spend time in the Archdiocese of New York, where they’ll stop May 25 at the St. Frances Cabrini Shrine in Manhattan to venerate the saint, who left Italy with six of her religious community’s sisters in 1889 to serve Italian immigrants in the New York slums. (Her life is the subject of the recently released film “Cabrini.”) That night, New York Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo J. Colacicco and the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne — whose Massachusetts-born founder, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, was declared venerable in March: will host adoration at St. Vincent Ferrer Church. While still in the city, the pilgrimage will process across the Brooklyn Bridge into the Diocese of Brooklyn May 26, and the following day take the Dorothy Day Ferry — named for the Catholic Worker Movement co-founder and servant of God — to the Statue of Liberty State Park for Eucharistic adoration.

National Shrine of St. John Neumann, Philadelphia: The pilgrimage continues through New Jersey’s dioceses of Metuchen and Trenton and into Pennsylvania. On June 1, the pilgrimage in Philadelphia for morning Mass at the National Shrine of St. John Neumann, who served as bishop of Philadelphia from 1852-1860 and was a champion of the Catholic parochial school system in the U.S. That evening, the shrine will host a “Eucharistic encounter” and open mic night for young adults. The following day, the pilgrims will venerate another Philadelphia saint, St. Katharine Drexel, who is entombed at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.

National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Emmitsburg, Maryland: From the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the pilgrimage travels through the Diocese of Harrisburg into the Archdiocese of Baltimore, where the pilgrims will spend time at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton June 6. Born in 1774, their route’s namesake was a wife, mother of five, teacher, Catholic convert and eventual founder of the first women’s religious community established in the U.S. She moved from New York to Emmitsburg in 1809 after her husband died while they were in Italy, which also is where she encountered Catholicism. The following day, the pilgrims will attend Mass and participate in a Eucharistic procession around the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Baltimore’s co-cathedral and the first cathedral in the United States.

Ohio River Sternwheeler procession: From Baltimore, the pilgrimage will continue into the Archdiocese of Washington with Mass June 8 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception followed by a procession with stops at the many Catholic sites around the shrine and The Catholic University of America campus. It then heads northwest through western Maryland; the dioceses of Altoona-Johnstown, Greensburg and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania; Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia; and Steubenville, Ohio, where the pilgrims will join adoration events at a Franciscan University of Steubenville Conference. On June 23, Bishop Mark E. Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston and Bishop Paul J. Bradley, apostolic administrator of Steubenville, will lead a “boater-cade” Eucharistic procession down the Ohio River aboard a sternwheeler, blessing pilgrims on shore at four sites.

Downtown Cincinnati. The pilgrimage continues through the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, with a July 6 Mass celebrated by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr at Cincinnati’s Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains. The Mass is followed by a Eucharistic procession through downtown and a Eucharistic festival at the city’s Fountain Square. The Seton Route enters the Archdiocese of Indianapolis July 8 with several events in Indianapolis ahead of the National Eucharistic Congress.


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