An On Mission inspired 7 Church Walk: I have taken to calling our proposed On Mission grouping the two-one-four of the four-one-two (based upon the use of the number 412 to identify Pittsburgh). It is a way for me to discuss the impact of On Mission as I engage people in what is best for Saint Maurice parish in light of the possibility that we will be grouped with the six parishes of Saint John Fisher, Saint Jude the Apostle, Saint Colman, Good Shepherd, Word of God, and Madonna del Castello. As you hopefully know, on April 26 the Bishop will make the official announcement of parish groupings (as well as clergy assignments) for On Mission for the Church Alive!. At this time, however, we are working on the assumption that the last publicly stated grouping (#214) is going to remain unchanged. With that in mind, it has been suggested that this Holy Thursday we do a 7 Church Walk of the 2-1-4. (In total there are eight churches in this grouping as Good Shepherd parish consists of the two church buildings of Good Shepherd and Sacred Heart.)
What is a 7 Church Walk? The tradition of visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday is an ancient practice, probably originating in Rome, where early pilgrims visited the seven major basilicas as penance. Pope Boniface VIII revived the pilgrimage tradition in 1300 with the establishment of a Jubilee Year; it is believed that around 1553 Saint Philip Neri popularized this practice. Today, the 7 Church Walk is a Lenten tradition to visit seven churches on the evening of Holy Thursday. Following the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Blessed Sacrament is placed on an Altar of Repose in the church
for Adoration. Pilgrims set out to visit each Church/Altar of Repose to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, remembering Christ’s Agony in the Garden.
This year all eight church buildings of our anticipated On Mission grouping will be open for visitation. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit and pray in the churches that may soon be functioning under one leadership team, sharing many ministries, and working toward forming one new vibrant faith community. Saint Maurice will be sponsoring a bus for those interested. The bus will depart following our Holy Thursday celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and will visit the other seven churches in the 2-1-4 of the 4-1-2. Hopefully, you will be able to join us in this wonderful opportunity to not only see these other churches but to pray before our Lord in these wonderful and sacred spaces.
More information on the bus tour will be in next week’s bulletin.