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Catholics outside Washington, D.C.'s Cathedral of St. Matthew after the first Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage Twitter / @tlmpilgrimage

ARLINGTON, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) – On Saturday, September 9, Catholics will once again embark on a walking pilgrimage from the Arlington Cathedral of St. Thomas More to Washington, D.C.’s Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, praying for an end to the “cruel and unjust restrictions” on the Traditional Latin Mass imposed by Bishop Michael Burbidge and Cardinal Wilton Gregory.

“We have a new route that will take us past the Lincoln Memorial and White House. We hope that it will continue to be visually stunning and spiritually fruitful, with singing of traditional hymns and praying of the rosary,” organizer and Arlington Latin Mass Society president Noah Peters told LifeSiteNews. “Pilgrimages are a wonderful, lost part of traditional Catholicism, and their beauty is a great tool of evangelization.”

“Simone Weil, who had been an agnostic, was moved to convert to Christianity by the beauty of villagers singing hymns in procession in Portugal. We hope to make this pilgrimage a lasting annual tradition like the Chartres and Walsingham pilgrimages – something that continues long after Latin Mass restrictions have been scrapped,” added Peters.

Pilgrims will depart from Arlington’s cathedral at 10:00 a.m. The route is just over five miles, and is expected to take two to three hours. Those unable to walk the full pilgrimage are invited to arrive at St. Matthew’s Cathedral by 1:00 p.m. to the pilgrimage’s end and closing prayers.

After Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 Summorum Pontificum clarified that the Mass codified at the Council of Trent was “never abrogated” and priests have a right to offer it without obtaining permission from their bishops, the Old Rite liturgy flourished in parishes in the Diocese of Arlington. That dramatically changed last year with Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge’s implementation of Pope Francis’s motu proprio Traditiones Custodes. Traditiones Custodes declared that “The liturgical books promulgated” by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II “in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

Burbidge’s implementation of Traditiones Custodies was one of the harshest in the U.S., with many speculating that this was due to Arlington’s high profile as a diocese where Traditional Latin Mass communities flourished alongside their Novus Ordo counterparts at “regular” diocesan parishes.

The 21 locations in the diocese where the Old Mass had been offered shrunk to just three parishes – with five additional authorized locations, two of which are historic or former church buildings and three of which are schools.

READ: The Diocese of Arlington’s brutal Latin Mass crackdown is cruel. That’s the point

“The priests at the TLM locations have been doing their best in tough circumstances. They have gone above and beyond in supporting Catholics attached to the Traditional Latin Mass,” said Peters.

“So long as the Christifideles continue to suffer under these restrictions, it will remain necessary to make public acts of penance and reparation, and to witness boldly and openly to the beauty and evangelistic power of the traditional Roman Rite liturgy,” the official website of the Arlington to D.C. Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage says.

The Arlington Latin Mass Society, a 501(c)3 founded last year, “has had tremendous success in hosting Catholic speakers, Masses, vespers, and other events to support traditional Catholics during these difficult times,” Peters told LifeSiteNews. “In just the past two months, we have hosted an inspiring talk by Sister Dede Byrne, a stunning Dominican Rite Mass with a lecture beforehand by Father Leo Camurati, and Extraordinary Form Vespers at St. Lawrence in Alexandria, one of the parishes that lost the Traditional Latin Mass, for its patronal feast day.”

And there are “other groups in the D.C. area that are doing tremendous things to keep Catholic tradition alive,” he said. “For example, the Durandus Institute for Sacred Liturgy & Music recently hosted a beautiful Ordinariate Mass in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and the Oratory of St. Philip Neri at St. Thomas the Apostle continues to have Vespers each Sunday.”

“What we have been able to accomplish with the Arlington Latin Mass Society has been beyond anything I could have imagined,” Peters continued. In addition to the upcoming pilgrimage, in “just the next few weeks, we will have…a lecture on Jesuits and the Latin Mass from [Father] Richard Nichols at the Franciscan Monastery, and a talk from the distinguished scholar of the liturgy Dr. Peter Kwasniewski.”

And each Saturday at the Papal Nunciature, the Arlington Latin Mass Society holds weekly Rosary Rallies in support of the Tridentine Mass, which Peters said have become a wonderful way for traditional Catholics from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and the Diocese of Arlington to connect and stay in touch.

“For the future, we will be having many more speakers, shuttle buses to Latin Mass locations for Holy Week 2024, and we will continue to ensure that traditional communities in the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington remain thriving,” said Peters.

More information about the Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage can be found at its website.


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