PROSPECT HEIGHTS — In response to a desire from the Brooklyn and Queens faithful for more collaboration between diocesan deaneries and parishes, the diocese will launch a 40-day Lenten-season pilgrimage “where people can visit different parishes, experience the beauty of the church, the beauty of the community that’s there.”
The pilgrimage will begin on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, at noon at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James in Downtown Brooklyn. Bishop Robert Brennan will be there for Mass, the distribution of ashes, and Eucharistic Adoration.
Then, every day for the following 40 days — all through Lent except on Sundays — there will be different church stations for the faithful to visit.
The second location after St. James will be St. Francis Xavier Church in Brooklyn on Feb. 23. The pilgrimage will conclude at Holy Cross Church in Maspeth on April 5.
Father Joseph Gibino, the Diocese of Brooklyn’s vicar for evangelization and catechesis, said the pilgrimage is a direct result of the synod, where faithful from Brooklyn and Queens asked for the diocese to offer greater collaboration and cooperation between deaneries and parishes and place more of an emphasis on youth and young adults and adult faith formation.
With all 22 diocesan deaneries involved, the pilgrimage is a step toward that increased collaboration, Father Gibino said.
“The goal was to get the deaneries to cooperate and really give them responsibility for these days of prayer, so they did that, and we mapped out a route that really leads one through the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens,” he said. “It’s meant to be a 40-day pilgrimage of faith.”
Father Gibino added that each participating parish has been asked to “reflect parish culture.”
He said what that looks like will vary parish to parish, but he anticipates most parishes will have Mass, confessions, rosaries, and “quiet time for prayer and reflection.”
“It really is to bring us together in the Eucharist,” he noted, explaining that in addition to the synod, the pilgrimage is also aligned with the national Eucharistic Revival initiative.
The pilgrimage will also have elements that address the faithful’s other synod goals.
For younger Catholics, the diocese’s Office of Youth and Young Adults will offer the opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hours throughout the pilgrimage.
With adult faith formation, Father Gibino said, the pilgrimage is an opportunity to connect with the faith on a deeper level.
“It is an opportunity for adults to perhaps choose something for Lent this year,” he added. “Traditionally, we’ve always given something up, but as adults now, we can give an hour of our time or a part of our day to the Lord in quiet prayer and reflection.
“Perhaps it will be an opportunity to go to the sacrament of reconciliation more than one time this Lent, an opportunity to go to daily Mass, this Lent,” Father Gibino continued. “It has so many spiritual possibilities for our people to really reconnect and be rejuvenated during the season.”
More information can be found online at dioceseofbrooklyn.org/LentenPilgrimage.