Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bishop Loverde Invites You to Our Diocesan Pilgrimage on October 12

Bishop Paul S. Loverde
Diocese of Arlington
It is the grace of God and His Son's sacrifice on the Cross that enables us to reach the finish line of eternal life, but we must be willing participants. This means more than just fulfilling our Sunday obligation, though this is certainly essential; it means putting Christ first in our life. To train, we must set aside time for prayer, for spiritual reading, for learning more about the rich deposit of our faith. The Lord is waiting for us to respond to His invitation to delve deeper into a personal relationship with Him. . . .

I invite you to set aside Saturday, October 12 in order to participate in our biennial Diocesan Pilgrimage. This is a concrete way to grow in faith, a day when thousands of diocesan parishioners make the journey to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The pilgrimage will consist of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with a guided meditation, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the availability of the Sacrament of Penance, all spent in the magnificent Shrine dedicated to Our Lady, our first model in faith and discipleship.

During this year's pilgrimage, we will not only have the opportunity to pray with the members of our diocesan Church, but also with Catholics around the world. On the afternoon of October 12, we will participate in an international simulcast wherein ten Marian Shrines around the world will pray the Rosary. This afternoon of prayer with the universal Church will include a message from Pope Francis, uniting himself with us during this Year of Faith.

I encourage you to make this Pilgrimage the first step in your recommitment to an intentional faith, whereby the Lord Jesus is the center of your life. Remember, the Lord cannot be outdone in generosity. The sacrifices that you make in spending time with Jesus and in other activities will bear great fruit in your spiritual life. The Diocesan Pilgrimage is one small journey in the larger pilgrimage that each one of us is making — the pilgrimage to join Mary and the saints at the finish line: in Heaven with the Lord!
Find out more information here. This pilgrimage of faith will encourage families to commit to praying together daily, an essential practice that will help create much-needed peace and stability within the foundation of society, the family. Please join us at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 9:30 a.m. on October 12, the vigil of the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. If you would like transportation from Blessed Sacrament to the Basilica and back, please contact Susan Doyle by clicking on this e-mail link before October 6 to receive further information.

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