November 16, 2016
Thousands of archdiocesan pilgrims travel to Washington
75 buses converged at the Basilica
of the National Shrine of the Immac-
ulate Conception and disgorged a
record 4,000 faithful from parishes
in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union
counties on Oct. 22 for the Jubilee of
Defying brisk winds under sun-
ny skies, the pilgrims passed through
the Holy Door and spent the day
praying, celebrating confession and
Eucharist and touring the largest
Catholic church in North America.
“The experience was fabulous,”
said Bob Miller of Our Lady of
Mercy Parish in Park Ridge. “The
decades of the Rosary (prayed) in
different languages, the energy of
the spirit of the people. It was won-
Miller boarded a bus with pil-
grims from Saint Joseph Parish in
Oradell and Annunciation Parish in
Paramus and joked that the nearly
nine hours on the road “was my pen-
ance for the rest of the year.”
But the day at the shrine was
something else, the career coun-
selor at Fordham University said,
remarking on the camaraderie and
fervor of the standing-room crowd
that packed side chapels and basilica
By Al Frank
Continued on page 13
Advocate photo by Al Frank
aisles and nearly engulfed the pro-
cession of some 80 priests and dea-
cons at the start of Mass.
“The entire Archdiocese of New-
ark is blessed for this effort,” Arch-
bishop John J. Myers said after he
finally reached the cathedra.
Early morning drizzle gave
way to the first favorable weekend
weather in weeks, cathedral offi-
cials said, adding that the Newark
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