WASHINGTON— Bishop Oscar A. Solis, of Salt Lake City, and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs has issued a statement in support of the 17th Annual Marian Pilgrimage that will take place Saturday, May 4 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the nation’s capital.
About a thousand Asian and Pacific American Catholics in the East Coast are expected to attend the Marian Pilgrimage.
Bishop Solis’ full statement follows:
“The annual Marian Pilgrimage has a long-standing tradition for the past years of providing a spiritual venue for all Asian and Pacific American Catholics to gather together and celebrate our devotion to our Blessed Mother. The celebration highlights one of the common threads that binds all Catholics as members of our Church here in America. This joyful and colorful spiritual celebration offers a special occasion for the different Asian and Pacific American Catholics in the United States to share their unique cultural gifts of piety and devotion that help enrich the faith life of our parish communities. Having played a part of the Marian Pilgrimage as Main Celebrant in the Holy Mass on two occasions in the past, I can truly say that this gathering is a significant contribution of the Asian and Pacific Catholics in building unity among the diverse communities that constitute the Church in America. The USCCB Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs strongly supports and commends the leaders of the Asian Pacific Catholic Network for organizing the Annual Pilgrimage.”
The celebration will begin at 1 p.m. with a procession of many banners and Marian images venerated throughout Asia and the Pacific. Following will be the crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the recitation of the rosary at 2 p.m., with each mystery lead by a different Asian or Pacific Island community.
A Mass at 2:30 p.m., with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States as celebrant, will cap the pilgrimage.
“Everyone is welcome to join us in this one-day celebration of faith and culture,” said Fred Semendy, Asian Pacific Catholic Network (APCN) executive chairman and co-sponsor. “We hope pilgrims will encounter Christ through Mary.”
Participating communities include Bangla, Burmese, Cambodian, Chamorro, Chinese, Filipino, Lebanese, Indonesian, Indian (Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites), Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Montagnard, Pakistani, Samoan, Sri Lankan, Thai and Vietnamese Catholics.
The pilgrimage is sponsored by the APCN, in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.
The APCN is committed to sharing the Catholic faith, as expressed in the cultures and languages of Asian and Pacific Island Americans.
The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity works to encourage the inclusion and fuller participation of all God's People in the life and ministry of the Church by building up their Catholic identity in a spirit of unity and diversity. The USCCB recently published a new document, Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters. This pastoral response will guide the Catholic Church in the United States in addressing the pastoral needs of Asian and Pacific Island communities and provide a framework for dioceses and parishes for creating their pastoral plans or actions specific to their circumstances.
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Oscar A. Solis, Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, Marian Pilgrimage, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Asian Pacific Catholic Network, Fred Semendy, Cultural Diversity
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