By Emily Woodham
The faithful from across Idaho and neighboring states are encouraged to participate in any portion of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage (NEP) as it passes through the Diocese of Boise. The pilgrimage has nine stops in the lower portion of Idaho, making participation more accessible for local pilgrims.
“Please be sure to identify when and where your deanery’s NEP event is,” said Tish Thornton, Director of Worship for the Diocese of Boise. “It will be import-ant at each of these stops within a deanery to have enthusiastic representation of the faithful to welcome the Lord and the pilgrims as they make their way through the state. Please plan to attend.”
There are nine stops at parishes within Idaho. Each stop will include opportunities for the faithful in their area to meet the national pilgrims, pray with them, adore the Blessed Sacrament, socialize, listen to talks, and witness testimonies. Local pilgrims can also process with the national pilgrims.
Beginning on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2024, four teams of young people, together with priest chaplains, sisters, and seminarians, will embark on a pilgrimage, processing across the country with the Blessed Sacrament, each from a different starting point. Each route is named for a regional saint, and the routes converge in Indianapolis in time for the National Eucharistic Congress on July 17.
Idaho is on the “Serra” Route, which begins in California. The Serra route is named after the “Apostle of California,” St. Junipero Serra, a missionary priest who dedicated his life to administering the sacraments to indigenous people and Spanish settlers across the west coast of our continent. He traveled approximately 24,000 miles throughout his ministry, mostly on foot.
On May 27, Bishop Peter Christensen will meet Bishop Liam Cary of the Diocese of Baker on the border between Oregon and Idaho. There, the Blessed Sacrament will be solemnly transferred to our Diocese, and then be carried in procession across the southern portion of the state before crossing the Utah border.
The dates for the Idaho portion of the pilgrimage have been finalized. How-ever, details for each stop, including times are still in the planning stage. The Office of Worship and the Office of Religious Education for the Diocese of Boise will provide more information as it becomes available, and a commemorative edition of the Idaho Catholic Register published in late spring will provide more details about the NEP in Idaho.
When the NEP arrives at its evening destination, area parishes will welcome pilgrims and be represented at a “gathering of altars” at a local city park.
The NEP will process from altar to altar and pass the Blessed Sacrament with-in the NEP monstrance to the pastor of each parish in the deanery. The pastor will then bless pilgrims from his parish, who can be laity, ministry leaders, or any group that wants to participate, with the Blessed Sacrament before handing the monstrance back to the NEP.
Following the blessing of parishes, the NEP and local pilgrims will process to a church for Adoration, praise and worship, prayer and to listen to testimonies from the national pilgrims. The faithful will then have time for fellowship and socializing.
The following stops have been confirmed:
Monday, May 27:
Afternoon - Blessed Sacrament in Ontario
(transfer of Eucharist from Oregon to Idaho)
Evening - Corpus Christi in Fruitland
Tuesday, May 28:
Afternoon - Sacred Heart in Emmett
Evening - St. John’s Cathedral in Boise
Wednesday, May 29:
Afternoon - Our Lady of Limerick in Glenns Ferry
Evening - St. Jerome in Jerome
Thursday, May 30:
Afternoon - St. Nicholas in Rupert
Evening - Holy Spirit Community in Pocatello
Friday, May 31
Afternoon - St. Peter’s in Preston
(transfer of Eucharist from Idaho to Utah)
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