NEW YORK – On the first Saturday of the New Year the bishop of a small Kansas diocese will embark on a 20-mile Eucharistic procession and pilgrimage for peace, where he will pray for “peace in our world, our country, our communities, families and hearts.”

Bishop Gerald Vincke of Salina will begin the Jan. 6 trek from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Glasco, Kansas, following an 8:00 a.m. Mass at the church. He has invited anyone interested to join him in the Eucharistic procession, beginning at approximately 9:00 a.m.

Citing the amount of unrest in the world today, Vincke said his hope for the procession is that all within the Diocese of Salina will shine as beacons of peace in society.

“It is my utmost desire that all within the Diocese of Salina would become Apostles of peace in our homes, our workplaces, and communities by drawing from the living font, the most blessed sacrament of the altar,” Vincke said in a statement. “This will be the focus of my prayer during the pilgrimage, and I invite all who are able to join me.”

The procession will conclude around 4:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Beloit, Kansas, at which time there will be more formal prayers for peace, the recitation of the Litany for peace, and reposition of the blessed sacrament at the church.

Beyond the call for peace, the pilgrimage is also Vincke fulfilling a commitment he made to the diocese.

Vincke previously announced that he would commit to the trek if donations to the diocese’s #iGiveCatholic campaign reached $250,000. Through the campaign, which ran from Nov. 13-28, the diocese raised $321,204 that will go towards parish and school expenses.

Vincke told Crux that the campaign’s success is a “great testament” to the love parishioners have for their Catholic school and parish.

“I was pleased to be a part of it and am very much looking forward to the Jan. 6 Eucharistic pilgrimage for peace that came from it,” Vincke told Crux in a statement. “May Christ’s peace radiate from the heartland to our hearts, families, communities, our nation, and the world.”

Another inspiration for the pilgrimage is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops national eucharistic revival campaign, which is ongoing at the parish level, and culminates next summer in Indianapolis with the nation’s first National Eucharistic Congress in 83 years.

Announcing Vincke’s pilgrimage, the diocese highlighted the significance of St. John’s, as it was designated a “Star on the Mantle of our Lady, Queen of Peace,” by Communitá Regina della Pace, Poland, in 2021.

Communitá Regina della Pace (Queen of Peace Community) is a Catholic, international apostolate created in 2008 to foster peace and reconciliation among people and nations of the world through Eucharistic adoration.

The diocese also likened Vincke’s pilgrimage to the visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, noting the names of the churches where the pilgrimage will begin and end.

“This reunion of Mary, miraculously pregnant with Jesus, and her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist, was a truly joyful event and reminds us of our joy in the Christ who dwells among us,” the diocese said in its announcement.

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