Calling high school and college-age students to pilgrimage following in footsteps of Venerable Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli Print
Written by Zoe Apel, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Jul. 26, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

Two priests and YOU, walking in the path of a future saint!

All high school and college-age students are invited to join Fr. Greg Ihm and Fr. Eric Sternberg on a three-day walking pilgrimage through Iowa, Illinois, and Southern Wisconsin, following in the footsteps of Venerable Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP, and learning about his incredible life of holiness.

Spreading the faith

As the first priest in many generations in what was then the Northwest Territory, Father Mazzuchelli dedicated his life to educating the people and bringing the faith to each person he encountered.

He came to America from Italy at the age of 22 as a young Dominican missionary and was ordained a priest a year later. Working tirelessly to bring the faith to thousands of Native Americans and European traders in the Midwest, he had an essential role in establishing the Catholic community that we are a part of today.

Living a life of service and missionary zeal gave Father Mazzuchelli the ability to do incredible things for the people of his territory. Giving sermons in the native tongue of the local tribes, and translating hymns, prayers, and the catechism, Father Mazzuchelli advocated for better treatment and education for Native Americans.

As he travelled across Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois spreading the faith and establishing parish communities, Father Mazzuchelli founded the Dominican Sisters at Sinsinawa Mound and started a college to provide higher education for people in the area.

In addition to being a teacher of the faith, Father Mazzuchelli was a skilled architect and designed 24 churches and civic buildings in his territory, some of which are still standing today.

After spending 34 years serving his people, Father Mazzuchelli died in 1864 from pneumonia, caught while walking in a storm to visit the sick. He was declared Venerable in 1993 by Pope St. John Paul II, the first of three steps on the path to sainthood.

Pilgrimage plans

On this pilgrimage, you will have a chance to learn, pray, and grow in communion with other young people from the diocese as well as the communion of saints in heaven!

You will not only spend time experiencing the life of Father Mazzuchelli, but will pray at some of the churches he established, venerate his relics, and learn about his path to holiness.

A bus will depart from St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Madison at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, to St. Raphael Cathedral in Dubuque, Iowa, one of the many parish communities founded by Father Mazzuchelli. From there, the group will walk to Sinsinawa Mound, St. Augustine Catholic Church in New Diggings, and St. Patrick Church in Benton, where Father Mazzuchelli is buried. The group will return to St. Maria Goretti by 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16.

For more details about the pilgrimage, and to RSVP, visit zuchelli-pilgrimage RSVP by August 5.


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