Washington, D.C, May 17, 2023—On the Feast of St. Paschal Baylon, patron saint of Eucharistic Congresses, the executive team for the National Eucharistic Congress is excited to invite Catholic communities across the country to be part of the historic movement to set hearts ablaze along four distinct routes that are part of a Eucharistic pilgrimage destined for the 10th National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, IN. Rooted in daily celebration of the Mass and modeled after the Gospel account of Jesus’ journey to Emmaus two millennia ago, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage will kick off May 17-19, 2024 during the Feast of Pentecost. The routes, named for saintly significance corresponding to the geographical starting point, will pass through many major U.S. cities beginning in San Francisco, CA (Serra Route); Bemidji, MN (Marian Route); New Haven, CT (Seton Route); and Brownsville, TX (Juan Diego Route).
Modern Catholic Pilgrim, a non-profit organization established to deepen faith and build community across the U.S. through walked pilgrimage in the Catholic tradition, has partnered with the National Eucharistic Congress to organize and manage all routes. “It is a stirring vision—Christ truly present in the Eucharist, traveling across our nation inviting crowds of hungry souls to come and be fed,” said Modern Catholic Pilgrim President and Founder Will Peterson. “The pilgrimage is modeled after the road to Emmaus and is an invitation for pilgrims to encounter the risen Christ on the journey and in the breaking of the bread before being missioned back into their local communities to spread the fire.”
Spanning a combined distance of 6,500 miles through cities, along highways, mountain ranges, and rural towns, each pilgrimage route will be accompanied by a consistent group of “perpetual pilgrims,” a priest chaplain, and a support vehicle for legs of the journey in which safety, terrain, and/or climate may present obstacles. The support vehicle will also allow pilgrims to get to their destinations according to schedule for areas in which the distance is too great to travel on foot.
A general schedule for each pilgrimage route will be followed consisting of Mass and major solemn procession on Sundays, with Mass and smaller processions at parishes during the week. Pilgrims will travel 10-15 miles each day while taking part in a minor Eucharistic procession. Along the routes, parishes will host Mass, Adoration, 40 Hours devotions, praise and worship services, lectures on the Eucharist, pilgrim testimonies, meals, and fellowship. Biblical hospitality will be offered via host families, parishes, religious orders, schools, shrines, retreat centers, and everything in between.
“We have encountered tremendous excitement from all corners of the country. People cannot wait to join the route near them, and for those who cannot join a route, we will have free resources for making their own Eucharistic pilgrimages starting this summer so that all Catholics in the U.S. can participate,” noted Peterson.
A special cross-diocesan pilgrimage from Fort Wayne to South Bend, IN will be held this June 4-11, 2023. Following the projected pattern of the four national routes that will embark upon this cross-country pilgrimage beginning in May 2024, it will celebrate the upcoming Feast of Corpus Christi, coinciding with the transition to the Year of Parish Revival as part of the multi-year strategic plan being carried out by the National Eucharistic Congress, Inc. in support of the National Eucharistic Revival.
To discern involvement in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, all Catholics are encouraged to visit https://www.eucharisticpilgrimage.org/ to view a map of the routes and a schedule of cities each pilgrimage travels through, explore detailed FAQ, learn about the patron saint for each route, and sign up to receive updates about specific routes.
For a complete press kit, visit https://www.eucharisticpilgrimage.org/press-kit. Will Peterson is available for comment. To schedule an interview, contact Carrie Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org.