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Local News

November 16, 2016

Thousands of archdiocesan pilgrims travel to Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C—Some

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

Mercy Pilgrimage.

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-

derful.”

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

Associate Publisher

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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