WASHINGTON--Asian and Pacific Catholics will hold their 12th annual Marian Pilgrimage Saturday, May 10. This one-day pilgrimage is a celebration of faith and heritage held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington and is open to everyone.
The event will be preceded by confessions in various languages at 12 noon and will begin at 1 p.m. with a procession with many of the Marian images venerated throughout Asia and the Pacific. This will be followed by a call to prayer and the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Rosary will follow at 2 p.m. with each mystery lead by a different Asian community. The climax of the celebration is a multilingual Mass, at 2:30 p.m. Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, Virginia, will be the main celebrant.
Participating communities include Bengali, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian (Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites), Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Lebanese, Montagnard, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Thai and Vietnamese Catholics. New groups of the above ethnic communities from New Jersey and North Carolina are joining the pilgrimage this year.
As in previous years the pilgrimage is sponsored by the Asian Pacific Catholic Network (APC-Network) of the mid-Atlantic Region, in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Secretariat on Cultural Diversity. The APC-Network is committed to sharing the Catholic faith expressed in the cultures and languages of Asian and Pacific immigrants.
The Secretariat on Cultural Diversity in the Church (SCDC) also works toward the pastoral goal of promoting understanding of cultural diversity in the Church. In addition to the training pastoral leaders on Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers (BICM), SCDC recently rolled out a guide for parishes called, "Best Practices for Shared Parishes: So That They May All Be One" which further supports pastors and parish administrators to cultivate the richness and diversity of Asian Pacific and other ethnic groups present in the Catholic Church in the United States.
The Asian and Pacific Catholics of Metropolitan Washington area invite all Catholics and other religious groups to participate in the Asian Pacific for Mary Pilgrimage. For further information, media and others may contact Fred Semendy at (703) 764-1450 or Sister Anna Nguyen at (202) 541-3384.