Holy Thursday Pilgrimage Expands in Mid-Hudson Valley

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Holy Thursday pilgrims are being offered the opportunity to travel across Hudson River bridges for the first time on their 2017 pilgrimage to seven churches.

Eighteen Dutchess County churches will participate in the Holy Thursday tradition for the first time since Gloria Ausubel began the pilgrimage to seven churches in Ulster County in 2011. Holy Thursday is April 13.

“It is truly exciting,” said Ms. Ausubel, a parishioner at St. Mary/Holy Name of Jesus and St. Peter in Kingston, one of 17 participating churches in Ulster County.

“Three years after we started in Ulster County, I was in a parish council meeting and one of the men sitting opposite me lived in Dutchess County. I was talking about the Holy Thursday plan for that year. I said, ‘In a few years, we’ll be going into Dutchess County,’ and I don’t know why I said that. It stayed in my mind and expanding it seemed like the thing to do.”

Ms. Ausubel shared her idea with Msgr. James Sullivan, dean of Dutchess County and pastor of St. Martin de Porres parish in Poughkeepsie.

“When I proposed it to Msgr. Sullivan, he was very open to it and he presented it at a clergy meeting. I just always felt we could go forward and expand it,” Ms. Ausubel said.

Pilgrims will attend Mass of the Lord’s Supper at their parish before participating in a procession to their church’s altar of repose. The pilgrimage follows to other parishes.

St. Philip Neri originated the pilgrimage in Rome, with visits to the seven Roman basilicas in the 16th century.

Information: Pamphlets are available at churches in Dutchess and Ulster counties.

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