Father Craig Clinch, pastor of both parishes, said it was a great way to celebrate the Year of Mercy.
“It’s also the Easter season and a good way to celebrate Christ’s resurrection,” he said.
Father Clinch started the pilgrimage walk with a blessing of the pilgrims and their special intentions while at St. Andrew Church. Upon arriving at St. Andrew’s Cemetery north of Tecumseh, the group prayed for their beloved dead, especially those buried in St. Andrew cemetery. The group also prayed the Litany of the Saints and prayed for the inmates and staff at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution.
At about the 5-mile mark, the group stopped at a second prayer station in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Dick and Deb Goracke farm. There the pilgrims prayed for the families of St. Andrew and St. Mary parishes. They also prayed for the unborn and for an end to abortion.
Along the way, smaller groups prayed the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
At the third prayer station, the pilgrims prayed Pope Francis’ prayer for the Year of Mercy and Father Clinch gave a blessing for the fields and flocks, and upon families who work the field for a bountiful growing season and harvest.
At the farm of Lorraine Olmsted at the third station, she told the pilgrims about two boulders that were recently dug up at the family farm, by her son. Similar rocks were studied and found to be more than 500,000 years old.
“It is evident that God created it all and that Christ is eternal and he is our rock on which we stand,” Father Clinch said.
He added that the event was an ecumenical walk as Christian pilgrims from other denominations throughout the Tecumseh and St. Mary communities participated.
Father Clinch celebrated Mass in St. Mary Church in St. Mary. In his homily, he recounted how two of Jesus’ disciples encountered Jesus on their way to Emmaus, about an 8-mile distance.
“Hopefully,” he said, “today on our walk we encountered Jesus through prayer, through his word and now through the breaking of the bread (the Eucharist).”
The altar societies of St. Andrew and St. Mary parishes planned a spaghetti dinner for everyone participating in the pilgrimage and members of the two parishes.
Guests participating in the walk included four Franciscan Brothers from the Knights of the Eucharist, a Franciscan order of brothers established in Hanceville, Ala. and currently serving at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House in Waverly.
- Ann Wickett, Tecumseh Chieftain and Father Craig Clinch