Two Maryland Catholic schools have made a pilgrimage through Washington, D.C., an annual tradition and hope that other Catholic schools will do the same, according to the National Catholic Register.
Catholic families from Avalon School, a k-12 boy’s school, and Brookewood School, a grade 1-12 girl’s school, recently carried a statue of the Virgin Mary for approximately 19 miles throughout the city, stopping at nine churches along the way.
“We always do it praying for the schools, the families and the community of Avalon and so forth,” Barry Stohlman, one of the founders of the event told the Register. “It’s important for building up the two schools, but also our own devotion to Mary and as a public proposal of devotion to Mary to the city.”
The Register reports:
Close to 400 pilgrims, most of them Catholic families, joined Avalon and Brookewood’s public pilgrimage through Washington on May 10, the day before Mother’s Day. The pilgrimage began with a morning Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Bethesda, Md., and finished with a 5:15 pm Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Participants in the schools’ seventh annual pilgrimage processed carrying a statue of Our Lady Most Pure on a litter for their 19-mile journey, stopping at eight churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary and one dedicated to St. Anne, her mother, to make a “novena of churches.”
[Richard] McPherson [president of the schools] said they generally make the theme for the pilgrimage fit with the yearly theme selected by the Holy Father. Pope Francis has declared 2015 as the Year for Consecrated Life, so McPherson is already thinking about the possibilities.
McPherson and Barry Stohlman [who helped found the tradition] hope that other Catholic schools in the area will be inspired to make their own pilgrimages. Both would like to see an event where D.C. Catholic schools make their own processions and all converge at the National Shrine.
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