Bishop invites all Catholic men to annual march and Mass in Peoria on April 23
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has encouraged all men of the Diocese of Peoria to take part in the 13th annual “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith” in downtown Peoria on Saturday morning, April 23 — and to arrive a little early.
Noting the 2016 men’s march and Mass takes place during the Holy Year of Mercy, Bishop Jenky reminded Catholic men that “to be merciful to others, we must first receive God’s mercy.”
“With this in mind, I especially encourage you to receive the sacrament of reconciliation that will be available before the rally at the riverfront beginning at 8:30 a.m.,” said Bishop Jenky in a letter addressed to priests, deacons, brothers and lay men throughout the diocese.
“With St. Joseph, patron of this annual event, let us give thanks to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ as we march and pray together celebrating our Catholic Faith.” Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC
Spaces for confessions will be set up near the Illinois River behind the Gateway Building, 200 N.E. Water St., where more than 500 men — many accompanied by sons or grandsons — are expected to first gather on April 23. Coffee and doughnuts will be served by the Men’s Club of Holy Family Parish, Peoria.
The rally in defense of faith, family and the priesthood begins at 9 a.m. with opening remarks and a reflection on the day’s theme — “Merciful Like the Father” — offered by Father Timothy Hepner, diocesan vocations director for recruitment.
At 9:45, the men will begin a prayerful march through downtown Peoria to St. Mary’s Cathedral for a 10:30 a.m. Mass with Bishop Jenky. A second opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation will be offered at the cathedral prior to Mass.
The Mass will be followed by a time of fellowship and lunch at the nearby Spalding Pastoral Center. There is no charge to attend the men’s march, nor are reservations required. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
The annual event takes place near the May 1 feast of St. Joseph the Worker, under whose patronage the men gather.
Succeeding the late Father Jerry Logan as prayer leader and chaplain of the men’s march will be Father Eric Bolek, parochial vicar of St. Jude Parish in Peoria. Deacon Michael Schallmoser of St. Philomena Parish, Peoria, will serve as emcee.
Bus transportation will be provided from the Spalding Pastoral Center to the riverfront prior to the march, or participants may park near the Gateway Building. For more information, call (309) 671-1550.