Shuttle buses will transport pilgrims to March for Mary event starting point
Those who plan to participate in the March for Mary from St. Joseph Church to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on Saturday, Oct. 7, will have some help along the way.
People are encouraged to carpool and park at the Spalding Pastoral Center, 419 N.E. Madison Ave., where shuttle buses will pick them up and take them to St. Joseph Church, 103 Richard Pryor Place. That is the starting point for the first-time event, which begins with eucharistic adoration at 1 p.m.
Appropriately enough, the buses will board passengers at the St. Joseph Entrance of the pastoral center, which faces Monroe Street. The shuttles will run between noon and 2 p.m.
People are encouraged to be at St. Joseph Church by 1 p.m., however. Cecilia Soñé, director of respect life for the Diocese of Peoria and coordinator of the March for Mary, said the sacrament of reconciliation will be available during adoration and continue while Mother Adela Galindo, foundress of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, offers a meditation on Our Lady of Fatima from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Confessions and the meditation, as well as the rosary prayed during the march, will be in English and Spanish.
The procession to St. Mary’s Cathedral, led by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, will begin at 2:30 p.m. A bus will be provided for those who are unable to walk.
When calling for the March for Mary earlier this year, the bishop said it was intended to be the Diocese of Peoria’s culminating event for the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. When they arrive at the cathedral, the pilgrims will hear the story of those apparitions told by three children, representing shepherd children Francisco and Jacinta Marto, now saints, and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, who went on to become a Carmelite nun. The diocesan phase of her cause for sainthood concluded in February and is under study at the Vatican.
Bishop Jenky will celebrate Mass at 4 p.m. Before the final blessing, there will be a candlelight procession with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima carried around St. Mary’s Cathedral. Holy cards will be given to each family as they leave.
“The event has developed from its original plan since we found out rather recently that Mother Adela can come and be the keynote speaker,” said Msgr. Stanley Deptula, director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Diocese of Peoria and rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral.
“It’s wonderful that she’s coming back. We know how much she loves Our Lady, so for her to give a talk again in our diocese about Our Lady of Fatima expanded what the March for Mary could be,” he said.
Soñé said Bishop Jenky is hoping parishes, schools, organizations and religious communities from around the diocese will send groups with banners to carry. Poles for banners that are carried upright are available, but should be reserved by Oct. 2 by calling Soñé at (309) 671-1550.
Registration is necessary so the Office of Respect Life can make the necessary arrangements. It is also helpful to have the name and phone number of a contact person in case something changes, Soñé explained.
For group registration, visit cdop.org/march-for-mary or call Suzie Meismer at (309) 966-0385.