Brownsville one of four starting points for National Eucharistic Pilgrimage

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SAN JUAN — Bishop Daniel E. Flores and Auxiliary Bishop Mario Avilés hosted a round-table discussion in observance of World Communications Day on Thursday.

Flores took the opportunity to share news about the Diocese of Brownsville and some upcoming events, including the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Vicariate Apostolic of Brownsville in September and the 60th anniversary of the diocese which is coming up in 2025.

He also took time to share details about an event of national significance that will be taking place in Brownsville this weekend.

Sunday will mark the beginning of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, an event that will see Catholics from across the country journey to the National Eucharistic Congress at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 17.

The pilgrimage has four routes beginning in four locations throughout the country; the Marian Route, which begins in Minnesota; the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Route, which begins in Connecticut; the St. Junipero Serra Route, which begins in California; and the St. Juan Diego Route, which begins in Brownsville.

Bishop Daniel E. Flores and Auxiliary Bishop Mario A. Aviles during the World Communications Day at Diocese of Brownsville Pastoral Center Bishop Adolph Marx Conference Center on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in San Juan. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

“It’s quite a blessing that Brownsville is the starting point for the southwest route, which will begin at the cathedral, which is our oldest church, La Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción​,” Flores said.

The bishop will hold Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Brownsville on Sunday at 8 a.m. After Mass, he will lead the pilgrimage to Sacred Heart Church before the group of Perpetual Pilgrims begin their long trek to Indianapolis.

This will include stops at St. Benedict Catholic Church in San Benito on Monday, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Harlingen on Tuesday, St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Weslaco and Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle in San Juan on Wednesday.

“This will garner national attention,” Flores said. “There will be media — Catholic media and non-Catholic media — watching that this is where it starts. It’s also starting in other parts of the country. This is an important initiative in terms of just preparing spiritually for the Eucharistic Congress, which is a fairly rare event in the life of the national church.”

Present for the discussion were MacKenzie Warrens, of Houston, who is one of the Perpetual Pilgrims who will be making the journey to Indianapolis and Chenele Shaw, of Florida, the route coordinator who helped organize the Juan Diego and Seton routes over the last two years.

Media outlets and those representing Valley churches attend the Historic 2024 National Eucharistic Pilgrimage during a Mass Communications Day on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

The Perpetual Pilgrims will be walking 10 to 15 miles per day and driving for other sections of the route, with stops at various parishes throughout the journey.

“It is open to the public. We would love for the public to come,” Shaw said. “After Mass, there will be a one-mile procession which will allow for folks to walk with us for a mile. Then if they’d like to continue walking with us, they are allowed to do that.”

Anyone who wishes to participate in Sunday’s event is encouraged to register at, which is free of charge. More information about the pilgrimage can also be found on that website.

“I’m feeling good. Our team, we’re all so excited,” Shaw said. “I’m just really blessed to be a part of this whole experience. There are so many people who have worked really hard to get us to this point, so I’m feeling really blessed and really grateful.”