Annual procession and Mass for peace on Columbus Day

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Members of the Fall River Diocese are invited to join Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., in the annual Procession and Mass for Peace on Monday, October 9, the Columbus Day holiday.

Participants in the procession should meet no later than 5:30 p.m. in the area of St. Anne Church, across from Kennedy Park on South Main Street, to march approximately one-half mile to St. Mary’s Cathedral. The procession will begin at 6 p.m. Marchers will carry candles, recite the Rosary and sing Marian hymns in various languages.

At approximately 7 p.m. Bishop da Cunha will celebrate the Mass for Peace at St. Mary’s Cathedral, located at the corner of Second and Spring Streets.

The Mass for Peace will last about one to one-and-one-half hours, with the entire ceremony concluding around 8:30 p.m.

Those who are disabled or handicapped should proceed directly to St. Mary’s Cathedral, where a special area will be designated for them.

The Columbus Day Procession and Mass for Peace is a long tradition in the Fall River Diocese. It was first held in 1975 especially to pray for peace in Portugal but its emphasis has since broadened to include peace and justice worldwide.

The first diocesan peace procession and Mass were held to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima and to pray for peace in Portugal. The inaugural procession began at St. Mary’s Cathedral and ended at Kennedy Park where an estimated 30,000 people attended an outdoor Mass celebrated by then-Bishop Daniel A. Cronin.

In subsequent years the peace procession’s destination and closing Mass celebration has been relocated indoors to nearby St. Anne’s Church to better accommodate the crowds and in case of inclement weather.

All participants should bring their own candles.

All priests are invited to concelebrate and deacons are most welcome. They are asked to bring an alb and white stole.

Men are also needed to assist in carrying the statue of Our Lady in the procession. Please select men from your parish for this service. On the day of the procession these men should report to St. Anne’s Church by 5:30 p.m. 

It would be appropriate for participants to wear a special robe, badge, or distinctive insignia that would set them apart in the procession.

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts