Men will focus on ‘fatherhood’ at annual march, Mass April 18

Fatherhood — both spiritual and natural — will be celebrated and encouraged when hundreds of men from around the diocese join Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, for the 12th annual “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith” men’s march and Mass in Peoria on Saturday morning, April 18.

The annual public display of faith begins with a 9 a.m. gathering at the Gateway Building, 200 NE Water St. on Peoria’s riverfront. After opening prayer and remarks by Father Chase Hilgenbrinck — a former professional soccer player who was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Peoria a year ago — the men will march from the Gateway Building to St. Mary’s Cathedral for a 10:30 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Jenky. The event ends with lunch and a time for fellowship at the Spalding Pastoral Center.

In a letter inviting men from all parishes to the gathering, Bishop Jenky noted that this year the church is putting a special focus on family life. Pope Francis is coming to the United States in September for a World Meeting of Families, and the following month is a Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican.

Bishop Jenky is using this year’s men’s march to open “a deeper reflection on the meaning of fatherhood.” All participants will receive a commemorative medallion featuring an image of the march’s patron, St. Joseph.

“All men are called to be fathers,” writes Bishop Jenky, “yet true fatherhood is something that our culture is greatly lacking. As the Catholic men of our diocese, our witness to a fatherhood that is strong, compassionate, loving and just is desperately needed.”

Calling all fathers to live that witness by being men of prayer, Bishop Jenky added “this year we march, encouraging each other in his particular fatherhood as we stand in defense of Faith, Freedom, Family and the Priesthood.”

There is no cost to attend the event and no reservations are required. Meal tickets will be sold to those planning to stay for the lunch. Participants are invited to begin gathering at the riverfront after 8 a.m. for coffee and donuts. Priests will be available for the sacrament of reconciliation. For those who wish to park near the cathedral, shuttle buses will be available from there to the Gateway Building at the foot of Hamilton Boulevard from 8 to 9 a.m.

Father Jerry Logan, administrator of St. Mary and Sacred Heart parishes in Rock Island, will offer an opening prayer at the riverfront. Father Hilgenbrinck is on the chaplain team at Alleman High School in Rock Island and is parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish, Moline, St. Mary and St. Anne parishes in East Moline, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Silvis.

“I would be honored if you and the men of your parish would support and attend this March and Mass,” wrote Bishop Jenky.

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