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Here’s what you need to know about the big 125th diocesan anniversary celebration coming up Sept. 12

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The Northern Cross

The date is getting closer! On Sept. 12, the Diocese of Duluth will complete its celebration of the diocese’s 125th anniversary with a Eucharistic Procession through downtown Duluth, culminating with Mass and a reception at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

The whole diocese — every member of every parish — is invited to participate as a celebration and public witness to our faith in Jesus Christ, truly present in the Holy Eucharist.

So to help you make your preparations, here are some of the nitty-gritty details on exactly where to go and how to get involved.

Should I go?

Definitely yes. Opportunities to gather with so many of our brother and sister Catholics to celebrate our faith in an event like this don’t come along every day, or even every year or decade, and the more of us there are, the more joyful and beautiful it will be. Every Catholic in the diocese, of all ages, vocations and abilities, is invited to come and be a part of it. Parishes and groups like the Knights of Columbus and CCW and so on are invited to find colorful ways to represent their vibrant parts of the local church too. This is also a way of evangelization, of showing the “Joy of the Gospel” in a positive way in the largest city in the diocese. As Pope Francis recently said, “A Church or a Christian who does not give witness is sterile; like a dead person who thinks they are alive; like a dried up tree that produces no fruit; an empty well that offers no water!”

OK, give me the basics.

The procession is going to start from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 East Fourth Street, Duluth, at noon, and continue to the DECC, where there will be Mass in the DECC Arena with Bishop Paul Sirba at 4:30 p.m., followed by a light reception.

What’s the route?

The procession will follow Fourth Street with stops near St. Mary’s Hospital and the Damiano Center. Then it will continue down Fifth Avenue West to the DECC. The entire route is about four miles.

Wait, go back a minute. I’ve seen that parking lot. We can’t all park at the Cathedral.

Right. People are encouraged to park at the DECC instead, where there’s ample parking. (The DECC charges $5 per car.) The diocese will be providing shuttles from the DECC to the Cathedral and then also to other spots along the procession for those who can’t or don’t wish to walk the whole way.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to have buses from the different parishes?

Often it would. Parishes are encouraged to organize those. Parish buses can drop people off for the procession and park at the DECC too.

I don’t think I can do a four-mile walk. Can I still participate?

Definitely. You can join part way along the route with the help of the shuttles. If you are not up to walking in the procession at all, you can still participate. There will be opportunities to pray at the DECC with others and participate that way as you wait for Mass. It’s not certain yet, but it’s also possible there will be a live feed of the procession there at the DECC.

What if I have to use a restroom along the way?

Bathroom facilities will be provided at two stops along the route, if nature calls.

How about water or a little snack?

You’re covered there too. All participants will receive a small backpack with water, a snack and other goodies for the procession.

You said parishes and groups can use their creativity to make their presence and their faith known. What does that mean?

Parishes and groups like the Knights of Columbus, CCW, Serrans and so on are strongly encouraged to come up with creative ways to participate. Examples could be banners or T-shirts or scarves or flags. Have fun!

How should I dress?

It’s an outdoor event in Duluth, so use good judgment and dress for the different weather possibilities.

I still have more questions! What should I do?

We’re happy to help! Contact the Diocese of Duluth at (218) 724-9111. You can also write to reichmueller@dioceseduluth.org.