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Archdiocese Celebrates Bicentennial Mass and Conclusion of Marian Pilgrimage

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Saturday, June 19, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati celebrated its bicentennial with Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains.

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, who celebrated the Mass, shared stories from the diocese’s 200 year history.

“The vast territory that had been assigned to Bishop Fenwick spanned not only all the lands of Ohio and Michigan, but also extended through much of the former Northwest Territory and beyond,” said Archbishop Schnurr. “Bishop Fenwick’s original diocese has now shrunk to a comparatively small 8,500 square miles, yet there are two and a half times more Catholics in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati today than there were in the entire United States in 1821.”

Archbishop Schnurr continued, “We celebrate great things today. Yet what we celebrate is not something out of the ordinary or otherwise unheard of. What we celebrate is the great constant, the unchanging, unbounded, and unconditional love of God for His people. That is what God’s word speaks to us about in the Scripture readings today.”

He also addressed the future of the Catholic Church in Western and Southwestern Ohio saying, “Of course, there are things to be concerned about as we look toward our future. Will there be enough priests and faithful laity to continue the ministries in our parishes? In an increasingly mobile society, should parishes be realigned? Will our people remain faithful as the world seems to get ever more secular? To each of these questions, it seems to me that we must respond “yes.” Yes, the Lord will bless us with the priests we need. Yes, the Lord will bless us with faithful parishioners. After all, the Lord has stated that He will remain with His Church until the end of time.”

A papal blessing was read at the beginning of the Mass, and at its conclusion, Archbishop Schnurr reconsecrated the archdiocese to Mary, which was also live-streamed to a screen at Fountain Square in Downtown Cincinnati.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains was also the final stop on the 33-day, 300 mile Marian pilgrimage. On the final day of the pilgrimage, pilgrims carried the Blessed Mother statue from Holy Cross-Immaculata through the rain to the basilica, where she resided during the Bicentennial Mass. Following Mass, pilgrims carried Mary to Fountain Square for the final pilgrimage celebration.

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