National pilgrimage unifies Asians

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The Asian and Pacific Island Catholics for Mary 13th Annual Pilgrimage drew around 1,000 people to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington May 2.

The Mass began with opening remarks from Msgr. Walter R. Rossi, who asked the faithful to pray for victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal. Archbishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, was the celebrant and homilist.

Deacons included John Liu and Perfecto Santiago. Father Michael Weston, who is the director of liturgy at the basilica, was the master of ceremonies.

During the Prayers of the Faithful, petitions were read in Chinese, Sinhala, Korean, Tamil-Indian, Burmese, Vietnamese, Samoan, Indonesian, Tagalog, Cambodian and Bengali, and in English.

The pilgrimage began with a welcome drum procession led by Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Church in Arlington. The procession included members of Asian and Pacific Island communities from the Washington metro area, Richmond, North Carolina and New York. A call to prayer, crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the rosary also preceded the Mass.

Stoddard can be reached at cstoddard@catholicherald.com.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015