Encountering Jesus

Journey with Christ on National Eucharistic Pilgrimage route through archdiocese

Mark your calendars!

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Omaha will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity June 21-23 to be part of a first-ever National Eucharistic Pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage consists of four routes from north, south, east and west that lead to Indianapolis for the 10th National Eucharistic Congress July 17-21.

The route from the west – named after St. Junipero Serra – begins in California on May 17 and covers more than 2,200 miles. 

That includes a passage through the Archdiocese of Omaha that will include stops at Cloisters on the Platte Ignatian retreat center and Holy Family Shrine, both near Gretna, St. Benedict the Moor Parish in Omaha, St. Augustine Indian Mission in Winnebago, and in Omaha again at St. Wenceslaus Parish, St. Cecilia Cathedral and St. John Parish on the Creighton University campus before crossing into Iowa at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park.

Anyone interested in participating is asked to register for the events at https://events.blackthorn.io/en/DnDCa1K7/g/serra/serra-route-archdiocese-of-omaha-4a2PDnqpR9/overview.

“The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage is a truly unique initiative,” according to the Eucharistic Congress website, “a beautiful fusion of the journey TO Jesus and the journey WITH Jesus.

“What’s more, it is an adventure that all Catholics can do together, either by interior disposition or physical accompaniment.”

The different routes include stops at holy sites and churches across the country. Portions are traveled on foot, while others are by vehicle in a caravan.

A group of perpetual pilgrims – young adults who will make the full journey to Indianapolis – will travel full time from May to July.

“Pilgrims will undertake this life-changing journey both as an act of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament and to witness publicly that Jesus is a King worth following,” according to the website.

Archdiocesan events begin with a Eucharistic Procession on Friday, June 21, as a transition from the Diocese of Lincoln and as a joint event between the dioceses.

Archbishop George J. Lucas and Bishop James D. Conley of the Lincoln diocese will be part of the 1 to 3:30 p.m. procession.

It begins at Cloisters of the Platte and continues five miles to Holy Family Shrine. There, worshippers can participate in Eucharistic adoration from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., and the two bishops will formally transition the pilgrimage to the archdiocese.

On Saturday, June 22, an 8 a.m. Mass will be celebrated at St. Benedict the Moor in historic north Omaha, followed by a fellowship breakfast.

Next the pilgrimage heads north to St. Augustine Indian Mission for adoration, with private prayer in the presence of Christ from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and a formal holy hour with prayer, music, reflection and Benediction, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The pilgrimage returns to Omaha that evening at St. Wenceslaus Church, with both quiet prayer and praise-and-worship music from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Spirit Catholic Radio will offer a display of Eucharistic miracles in the church’s narthex.

On Sunday, June 23, Archbishop Lucas will celebrate 10:30 Mass at St. Cecilia Cathedral as part of the pilgrimage, and the Eucharistic miracles display will be available in the parish center.

An hour-long  procession from the cathedral to St. John Parish at Creighton University begins at noon. Eucharistic adoration at St. John will be from 1 to 1:45 p.m.

Then a Eucharistic procession from 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. will move the pilgrimage from the Archdiocese of Omaha into the Diocese of Des Moines at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park. 

Bishop Andrew Cozzens, who is leading the National Eucharistic Congress, encourages everyone to participate in the national pilgrimage.

According to the congress website, people can join other pilgrims along the main routes, by making a self-led pilgrimage, or in prayer “that our nation encounters our Lord powerfully as he journeys to be near to us in this remarkable new way!”

“The Pilgrimage will be a powerful, once-in-a-lifetime witness,” said Bishop Cozzens of the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, “of how Jesus Christ comes close to us and invites all to encounter him in the Eucharist.”


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