Catholic men invited to May 1 gathering with Bishop Jenky

Every year since 2004, hundreds of Catholic men from throughout the Diocese of Peoria have responded to a call from Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, to take a public stand in defense of faith, family, and the priesthood. The video above shows scenes from the 2009 gathering.

When they assemble again at the Peoria riverfront on Saturday, May 1, and silently march to a Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, support for the priesthood will have a prominent focus.

“It is fitting that we pray particularly for our priests during this special Year for Priests convened by Pope Benedict XVI,” said Bishop Jenky in inviting all Catholic men to attend “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith.”

Because of the special year, priests are particularly encouraged to attend the 2010 march. Members of St. John Vianney Mission in Cambridge — the only church in the diocese named for the patron of priests — have been invited to carry the large identifying banner that leads the marchers to the cathedral.

In addition, every participant will receive a commemorative medallion blessed by Bishop Jenky featuring an image of St. John Vianney, whose example of holiness was especially cited by Pope Benedict in proclaiming the special year.

David Brownell, a member of the 15-member committee planning the event, calls this year’s march and Mass “a very timely opportunity” for all Catholic men.

“What better time to stand up for our faith, given all the criticism the church has suffered?” asks Brownell, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Bloomington, in a guest column on the event found in this issue of The Catholic Post.

The gathering begins at 9 a.m. at Liberty Park along Peoria’s riverfront. Participants may park near the riverfront or in lots by the cathedral and the Spalding Pastoral Center. Shuttle buses will be available from 8:30 to 9 a.m. to transport men from the cathedral to the riverfront.

Coffee and doughnuts will be available prior to the start of the a brief program at the river. Father Tom Holloway, pastor of St. Bernard’s Parish in Bushnell and St. Augustine’s Parish, St. Augustine, will speak to the men, as will Father Jerry Logan, pastor of Sacred Heart, Annawan, St. Patrick’s, Sheffield, and St. Mary of the Fields, Hooppole.

Led by a Knights of Columbus Honor Guard and a carried statue of Mary, the men will then walk silently and prayerfully to the cathedral. To also mark the Year of the Rosary, a rosary will be recited at 10:30 a.m. prior to an 11 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Jenky, who will be the homilist.

The sacrament of reconciliation will be offered both at the riverfront and at the cathedral. The event will end with fellowship and lunch at the Spalding Pastoral Center. Meal tickets will be available at a cost of $7.

Tim Roder, director of the Office of Marriage and Family and chair of the planning committee, said all men of the diocese — married, single, young, old — are encouraged to attend. Children are welcomed.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the event have been posted on the diocesan Web site, More information is also available by calling (309) 671-1550.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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