All Catholic men invited to march, Mass on May 14

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has invited all Catholic men of the Diocese of Peoria to join him on Saturday, May 14, for the eighth annual “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith.”

The annual event, which has drawn up to 1,000 participants in past years, includes a gathering at the riverfront in downtown Peoria, a silent walk to St. Mary’s Cathedral for a Mass with Bishop Jenky, and ends with a time of fellowship and lunch at the Spalding Pastoral Center.

Planned this year by a committee of 20 men from across the diocese, the gathering is promoted as “a public stand in defense of faith, family, and priesthood” and takes place annually on or near the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

Father Joseph Donton, pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Washington, will be the featured speaker at a short rally at Liberty Park. Participants will gather at the riverfront park at 9 a.m. Several priests will be present to make available the sacrament of reconciliation prior to the rally, which begins at 9:15.

At 9:45, the group will begin a mile-long walk to the cathedral. Leading the way will be banner carriers from St. Mary’s Parish in Kickapoo, as well as groups of seminarians carrying statues of St. Joseph, the annual event’s patron, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

There will be recitation of the rosary at 10:30, followed by Mass at 11.

At the pre-march rally, Father Donton will speak about St. Andre Bessette, a Holy Cross brother from Canada who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI last October. St. Andre is known for his special devotion to St. Joseph, who is the patron of the annual gathering of Catholic men.

Each participant in “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith” will receive a blessed medallion with an image of St. Andre on one side and the event date on the back.

The event is free of charge, though food will be offered before the march and at lunch.

“I would be honored if you and the men of your parish would support and attend this march and Mass,” said Bishop Jenky in inviting all men of the diocese — young, old, married, single, religious and priests. “Let us give thanks to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ as we march and pray together celebrating our Catholic faith.”

Participants may park at St. Mary’s Cathedral prior to the rally and take a free shuttle to the riverfront. Likewise, they may park near Liberty Park and be returned to the site by bus following lunch.

For more information on the event, call Tim Roder, director of the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family, at (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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