Editor's Notebook (May 2024)

by Anne-Marie Welsh

While we usually think of a pilgrimage as journeying to a sacred place in search of spiritual growth, life itself is a pilgrimage for anyone who takes his or her faith seriously.

My own journey took an unexpected turn in recent months. After 14 years as editor of Faith, it was with great joy that I saw both Mary Solberg and her successor, Vince Dragone, take the reins, introducing fresh perspectives and innovative approaches for a combined period of four years. But with Mary’s retirement and Vince in a new job, I find myself back at the helm for another two or three editions before my own retirement. The unanticipated responsibility came with a sense of joy — an assurance that all is as it should be.

I’m reflecting on pilgrimages, though, because in this edition of Faith, we offer details about two pilgrimages being sponsored by the Diocese of Erie. The first, to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis this summer, and the second, to Italy in October 2025 for the Jubilee that’s celebrated in Rome every 25 years.

But even if you do not or cannot participate in these events in person, there are opportunities much closer to home. On pages 18 and 19, you can read that in preparation for the National Eucharistic Congress, Eucharistic processions following routes from the north, east, south and west will begin their journey to Indianapolis in May. The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Route, beginning on May 17 in New Haven, Connecticut, will pass through the Diocese of Pittsburgh, with a stop at St. Vitus Church of Holy Spirit Parish, 910 S. Mercer St. in New Castle, Pennsylvania. A Holy Hour is planned for 6 to 7 pm. Additional stops in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and other neighboring dioceses are scheduled as well. Stay informed about these opportunities to make a day trip and join Catholics from across the country through our Eucharistic Revival webpage at www.ErieRCD.org/EucharisticRevival.html.

As for the Holy Year in Rome, we don’t yet know if Pope Francis will invite dioceses to establish holy doors, as he did during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that began in November 2015. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t. But even as we plan the diocese’s pilgrimage to Italy, Pope Francis has proclaimed 2024 as a Year of Prayer. In a letter entrusting the organization of the Jubilee to the Vatican’s Dicastery (office) for Evangelization, he wrote, “From now on I am happy to think that the year preceding the Jubilee event, 2024, will be dedicated to a great ‘symphony’ of prayer. First of all, to recover the desire to be in the presence of the Lord, to listen to him and adore him.” Find more details and a link to prayer resources for this year on page 23.

Joining in that symphony seems like a perfect way to strengthen the many graces of the Eucharistic Revival in our country.