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Bishop Brandt to lead diocesan pilgrimage originating in Indiana June 8

by By the Diocese of Greensburg on June 03, 2013 7:00 AM

GREENSBURG — The second Year of Faith pilgrimage sponsored by the Diocese of Greensburg is set for June 8. Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt will accompany the pilgrims on the journey through Indiana County and parts of Westmoreland County.

The pilgrimage begins at 8:30 a.m. at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish, Indiana. Participants have the option of attending the 7:30 a.m. Mass at the parish.

Attendees will travel by deluxe motor coach to several holy sites, including churches, a shrine, a diocesan vocations chapel and Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg, before returning to St. Bernard Parish at approximately 8:30 p.m.

“All of the churches that we’re visiting were built in the 20th century,” said Father William J. Lechnar, director for pilgrimages in the diocese and pastor of Mother of Sorrows Parish, Murrysville. “They each have modern architecture with their own unique flavor and attributes.”

The diocesan pilgrimages are being held in conjunction with the Year of Faith, which was announced by Pope Emeritus Benedict to honor the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Running from Oct. 11, 2012, to Nov. 24, 2013, the year is meant to strengthen the faith of Catholics and draw the world to the faith by their example.

Father Lechnar, former pastor of St. Thomas More University Parish, Indiana (2005-12), said a pilgrimage is an opportunity to pause from the normal routine of daily life, a time set aside for reflection and prayer.

“It’s a time for people to not just think about where they’re going on their individual journey, but where we as a universal church are going,” Father Lechnar said. “There are Year of Faith activities going on all over the world, and taking part in this is a connection with all those people who are also doing activities.”

The June 8 pilgrimage includes stops at the following destinations:

  • St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish, Indiana, point of origin : Opportunity to engage in an outdoor rosary walk, weather permitting; and refreshments.
  • St. Thomas More University Parish, Indiana : Presentation and prayer at diocesan Vocations Chapel, and visit to the recently dedicated Mary, Queen of Peace outdoor shrine.
  • Church of the Good Shepherd Parish, Kent : Tour of church building with description of the history of the church in the community and brunch.
  • SS. Simon and Jude Parish, Blairsville: Prayer and presentations about the collection of paintings of the saints and apostles.
  • Bishop William G. Connare Center, Greensburg: Sacrament of reconciliation; Holy Hour; tour of the diocesan facility; and dinner buffet.
  • Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg : Bishop Brandt will celebrate Mass, and Father Lechnar will concelebrate; tour of the newly restored cathedral, the mother church of the diocese.

Denise Pencola, a parishioner of Church of the Good Shepherd and a member of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, is helping to coordinate the diocesan pilgrimages. The DCCW will provide hospitality at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

The pilgrimage is open to anyone from the diocese. Registrations can be made through the diocesan website at or by contacting Father William J. Lechnar at 724-837-0901, extension 1249. The cost is $59, which includes brunch and a dinner buffet with refreshments offered throughout the day.

The registration deadline is Monday, June 3, at 5 p.m. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

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