When the Marian Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage passes through Duluth on May 21-22, Chris Hurtubise and his family will be there.

“My family is so excited to go up to Duluth to join with Bishop (James) Powers and the diocese in this incredible opportunity,” said the director of the Diocese of Superior’s Department of Evangelization & Missionary Discipleship. “It was just a no-brainer.”

As a lead-up to the National Eucharistic Congress taking place July 17-21 in Indianapolis, more than 100,000 Catholics are expected to participate in events along the four organized pilgrimage routes starting in mid-May.

The northern, or Marian Route, named in honor of its visit to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion in the Diocese of Green Bay, will begin in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, at the headwaters of the Mississippi River and come close to various points in the Diocese of Superior.

Bishop James P. Powers will lead a Eucharistic Holy Hour on Tuesday, May 21, at Duluth’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary from 6:30-7:30 p.m., followed by fellowship.

On May 22, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. by Bishop Daniel Felton and concelebrated by Bishop Powers and Diocese of Crookston Bishop Andrew Cozzens. There will be a two-mile procession, led by the bishops, to Leif Erickson Park on the shores of Lake Superior following the Mass.

Another procession will be held May 22 in Mora, Minnesota, before moving through the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from May 24-31. The pilgrimage will make a stop on June 6 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, Minnesota, and then the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse on June 8.

Scheduled stops in the northern reaches of the La Crosse diocese, just south of Medford and Merrill, include the Catholic churches in Colby, Abbotsford and Wausau on June 11 into June 12 before moving on to the Diocese of Green Bay.

On June 14, a Eucharistic procession is scheduled from St. Norbert Abbey to St. Francis Xavier Cathedral followed by a full day on June 16 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion.

“It is truly with wonder and awe that we finally come to the time to experience this historic pilgrimage from the four corners of our country to converge on Indianapolis in July for the Eucharistic Congress,” said Jen Metzger, the Diocese of Superior’s associate director for Youth Discipleship. “It is with even greater joy that we as a small rural diocese get to participate in the pilgrimage with our northern neighbors.”

“Someone asked me why it’s worth all the ‘trouble,’” Hurtubise commented. “The same Jesus that walked the dusty roads of Israel, that suffered, died and rose again is really and truly present in every tabernacle in our diocese right now. He comes to us in every Mass, from the cathedral to the parishes, to the nursing homes, to the makeshift altars in the woods at Extreme Faith Camp. This pilgrimage is a very public display of our confidence in his presence.

“It shows him that our desire is to truly make him the center,” Hurtubise continued. “What a worthy act of praise! Whether it knows it or not, the world is desperate for Jesus. This holy pilgrimage is a way to show the world that ‘so am I.’ He is the fulfillment of our every desire and if we will allow him, he will quench our every thirst.”

“As the Feast of Corpus Christi approaches on June 2, we know that our parishes and clusters will again participate in the true witness of Christ with Eucharistic processions throughout the diocese,” Metzger added. “As we continue to experience the love of Christ through his true presence in the Eucharist, Bishop Powers prays and hopes that you feel the draw and grace to join us in Duluth, or plan to attend another stop along the route.”

Due to the large number of pilgrims anticipated at these events, all are encouraged to register through the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage website so that appropriate arrangements can be made based upon the number of attendants.
All interested can register at https://www.eucharisticpilgrimage.org/marian-route.