Asian And Pacific Catholics To Mark Heritage Month With Marian Pilgrimage To National Shrine In Washington On May 9

—Asian and Pacific Catholics in the Mid-Atlantic area will hold the Seventh “Asians for Mary Pilgrimage” on Saturday, May 9, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Cultural Diversity Secretariat of the U.S. Bishops Conference.

Held in observance of Asian and Pacific Heritage Month, the annual pilgrimage has grown in size over the years as Asian and Pacific Catholics honor the Virgin Mary with prayers and songs reminiscent of Marian devotions in their homelands observed during the month of May.

This year’s pilgrimage will begin with a Marian procession at noon, led by Indonesian prayer dancers and will bring to the altar images and icons of the Blessed Mother in the tradition of the Bangali, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Vietnamese Catholic communities.

Korean Teen Drummers and the Korean Youth Orchestra of the St. Andrew Kim Parish in Olney, an Indonesian Gamelan ensemble and young Bangali and Indian musicians will perform during a colorful Call to Prayer. A multilingual Rosary will follow led by children from various ethnic communities. The afternoon will reach is climax with a Multicultural Mass presided by Bishop Martin D. Holley, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington.

Cecile Motus, assistant director for Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church related how in past years the Asians for Mary Pilgrimage has joyfully gathered Asian and Pacific Catholic families, parishes and friends.

“It has been a powerful source of grace, resulting in deeper devotion to our Blessed Mother, increased interest on Asian and Pacific Catholics heritage and their faith practices, a deeper commitment to serving as volunteers in parish evangelization programs, and a greater openness on part of the different cultures to share and dialogue with others,” Motus said.

For information about the Seventh Asians for Mary Pilgrimage, please contact the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs of the USCCB at 202-541-3384.