MARQUETTE - In the spirit of his predecessor's missionary zeal, Bishop Alexander K. Sample will traverse the length and breadth of the Upper Peninsula in one weekend to open the Year of Faith in the Catholic Diocese of Marquette. The bishop will symbolically place the diocese, which encompasses the entire U.P., under the "sign of the cross" as he presides at the celebration of the Mass in four different locations.
"The symbol of our faith is the cross," explained Bishop Sample.
Pope Benedict XVI called for the world-wide Year of Faith as "a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord..." The year will run from Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013, the Feast of Christ the King.
Calling to mind the many long and grueling trips across the U.P. by the diocese's first bishop, Venerable Frederic Baraga, Bishop Sample will travel 1,140 miles from north to south and west to east this weekend, beginning and ending in Marquette. That's the equivalent of driving from Marquette to a point further south than Atlanta, Ga.
The bishop encourages Catholics throughout the U.P. to participate in any or all of the Masses and to walk with him in procession to each church 15 minutes prior to the Mass.
The Year of Faith opening Mass schedule, including procession information, is:
Saturday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Pines Mission, Copper Harbor (procession begins at 9:45 a.m. at Grant Township Community Center at the corner of US-41 and 2nd St.);
Saturday, 4 p.m. (CDT) at Holy Spirit Parish, Menominee (procession begins at 3:45 (CDT) at Menominee Catholic Central School, 1406 10th Ave.);
Sunday, Oct. 21, 8 a.m. (CDT) at Our Lady of Peace Parish, Ironwood (procession begins at 7:45 (CDT) at the corner of Aurora and Suffolk Streets);
Sunday, 6 p.m. at St. Florence Mission, Drummond Island (procession begins at 5:45 at the large white cross in the St. Florence Cemetery, located at 34138 S. Townline Rd., just south of the church).