The Assumption Pilgrimage is expected to draw about 5,000 people.
By D.A. WILKINSON
VINDICATOR RELIGION EDITOR
NORTH JACKSON -- Celebrations of Mass, meditative walks and outdoor music are part of the Assumption Pilgrimage.
This year is the 36th annual pilgrimage at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, said its rector, Monsignor William D. Bonczewski.
The largest annual event at the shrine, it is expected to draw about 5,000 visitors from Canada to California from Aug. 13 to 15. Some people will come for one day; others will come for all three.
The pilgrimage leads up to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Aug. 15, an observance marking the mother of Jesus being taken into heaven after fulfilling her earthly duties.
"It's one of the oldest feast days that Christianity has," the monsignor said.
Events: A wide variety of events will help people of all ages deepen their spirituality at what is always a special time, the monsignor said.
The Pontifical Liturgy will be at 7 each night, followed by a candlelight procession. Sacred music will be performed each night starting at 6. The performances will be outdoors, weather permitting, so visitors are asked to bring chairs.
For the first time, visitors can tour newly prepared meditation trails through the woods at the shrine. People may walk or ride in a hay wagon.
The main celebrants are Bishop John Pazak, Eparch for Byzantine Rite Slovak Catholics in Canada, Aug. 13; Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, Aug. 14; and Bishop Robert Shaheen, Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon in Los Angeles, Aug. 15.
Archbishop honored: There will also be an event at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 13 honoring the late Archbishop Judson Procyk, the former archbishop of Ruthenian Catholics, who had visited the shrine several times, including last year during the Great Jubilee Pilgrimage.
A plaque will be presented to Archpriest Father John M. Kudrick, the archdiocesan administrator, and then placed in the chapel among other devotional plaques in remembrance of deceased bishops and priests.
Also during the pilgrimages, all Masses celebrated in the Tower Chapel will be for the intention of priesthood and religious life. Displays with information will be available.
For pilgrims seeking sustenance in addition to spiritual nourishment, a variety of ethnic and American foods will be available.
Other events include:
UA devotional program for youths at 1 p.m. Aug. 15.
UMeditations on the Magnificat presented by the Rev. Justin Medro of St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pa., at 4 p.m. each day.
URecitation of the rosary hourly from 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 14 and 15.
There will be other Masses during the pilgrimage. For more information, call (330) 538-3351.