Men’s March and Mass to return April 30 after two-year COVID-19 absence
UPDATE — Because thunderstorms are in the forecast for Saturday morning, the men will gather at the Spalding Pastoral Center, 419 N.E. Madison Ave. in Peoria, for confessions and the pre-march rally beginning at 8:30 a.m. The Mass with Bishop Tylka and the lunch to follow at the pastoral center will continue as scheduled.
Catholic men of the Diocese of Peoria soon will be on the march again.
After a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith” — known informally as the Men’s March and Mass — has been scheduled for Saturday, April 30, in Peoria. All Catholic men of the diocese are invited, and are encouraged to bring their sons, grandsons, and friends. No reservations are necessary.
Participating for the first time will be Bishop Louis Tylka, who will be principal celebrant and homilist at a 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
But first, the men will gather at the Peoria riverfront’s Gateway building, 200 N.E. Water St., for pre-march activities that include:
- opportunities for the sacrament of reconciliation, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
- fellowship over coffee and doughnuts, and
- a rally featuring a talk by Father Charles Klamut, pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Bartonville. His topic is “Sons of God,” exploring how our identity as men is rooted in God’s fatherhood, and “that we are good fathers only if we are first good sons of our heavenly Father in Christ.”
Led by a banner and statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, the men will then walk from the banks of the Illinois River to St. Mary’s Cathedral for the Mass. A time of fellowship, including a lunch available for purchase, will follow at the nearby Spalding Pastoral Center.
FIGHTING FOR FAITH, FAMILY
Prior to the pandemic, the Men’s March and Mass took place for 16 consecutive years on the Saturday closest to the May 1 feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The grassroots event began in 2004 and was inspired by a homily Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, gave the preceding fall in which he urged Catholics to “rise up,” defend their faith, and “intentionally and deliberately stand with our God.”
It is now planned by a Men’s March committee.
Participants are invited to park near St. Mary’s Cathedral, 607 NE Madison Ave., at about 8 a.m. and ride a shuttle bus to the riverfront site. Buses will also be available to transport those who do not wish to walk the one-mile route back to the cathedral.
Medallions featuring an image of St. George — originally created for the anticipated march in 2020 — will be blessed and distributed at the Mass.
For more information on the 2022 “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith,” visit the diocesan website, cdop.org.