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Article: The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage In Pittsburgh: What An Out-Pouring Of Grace!

This commentary by Auxiliary Bishop William Waltersheid of Pittsburgh first appeared on the Diocese of Pittsburgh's website on July 3, 2024.


It is with tremendous gratitude in my heart that I reflect on the week that the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage passed through our diocese from June 12 to June 19. It proved to be a time of reawakening of faith in, devotion to, and love for Our Lord Jesus Christ truly and substantially present in the Most Holy Eucharist. I have no doubt that torrents of grace were poured down upon the people who participated in the Pilgrimage and indeed upon the entire diocese.

Every parish and church the Pilgrimage passed through drew huge crowds of people to the Masses, Holy Hours, processions, witness talks and socials. Typical of Pittsburgh, the generosity and welcome that were extended to the Perpetual Pilgrims and the religious sisters, Daughters of Mary, Mother of Healing Love were extraordinary. The perpetual Pilgrims and the sisters affirmed that!

Nothing could stop the adoration, prayer, and praise offered to the Eucharistic Lord, not even the 97 degree heat and terrible humidity that marked the 17 mile procession through Beaver County! Nothing could keep the faithful, religious, deacons and priests of the Diocese of Pittsburgh down!

I want to offer a few words of thanks to many people who were so supportive and helpful in the execution of the Pittsburgh portion of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage. I am so grateful to the pastors, priests and deacons of the parishes that were on the route of the Pilgrimage for their great assistance. Many thanks to all of our priests and deacons who participated so beautifully in the Pilgrimage. I am grateful beyond words to the Parish Point Persons from across the diocese who gave such support and assistance. Thanks to all the religious sisters and those in consecrated life who participated in the Masses, holy Hours and processions. Your witness was a powerful expression for your love for the Eucharistic Lord and your service in the Church. Our people mentioned over and over again their appreciation of your witness. I am grateful to our seminarians who assisted the Pilgrimage in so many ways. A big shout out and expression of pride for Christoph Bernas, one of our own seminarians, who is serving as a Perpetual Pilgrim on the Seton Route. Thanks, Christoph! I am grateful to the Knights of Columbus who were present for the many liturgies.

Many thanks to all of you who worked tirelessly and selflessly in providing lodging for the Perpetual Pilgrims, food for so many people, and any assistance in planning and providing services in so many ways, even from your own funds. I am so very grateful to all of you, our dear faithful people of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, who came out in such large numbers to express your love for Jesus and in the Blessed Sacrament and to remind us what it is that you love and desire, the beauty of our Catholic Faith, and Whom you desire, Jesus Christ truly present in our midst in the Eucharist.

As we move forward to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, we do so with renewed faith and hope. Beyond that, we go forth with the firm belief that the Lord renews His Body the Church by His Eucharistic Body as we gather around His altar.

Most Reverend William J. Waltersheid

Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh​​​​


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