HBy Michael O’Grady ’16 & Robert Paradiso ‘16
His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan welcomed special guests to St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday, December 6. These guests consisted of roughly 8,000 pilgrims, including seventy Chaminade Flyers who had signed up through Sodality and Columbian Squires to participate in the annual New York City Pilgrimage.
After a brief prayer and instructional session with Brother Peter Heiskell, S.M. ’86 at Chaminade High School, the pilgrims departed for an 8:27 AM train from Mineola that arrived at Penn Station around 9:00 AM.
Eddie Stankewick ’19, who was on his first religious pilgrimage, anticipated his experience, saying, “The train ride was a lot of fun, with my friends and newly met students, and I knew we had not even hit the best part of the trip yet.”
The Flyers enjoyed themselves while also reminding themselves of the true meaning of the trip – a religious pilgrimage with friends to encounter God through participation in the Mass.
To go to the cathedral, the pilgrims hiked twenty blocks from Penn Station. Nevertheless, dressed warmly and filled with breakfast, the Flyers arrived at St. Patrick’s with half an hour to spare. Students entered the cathedral to find a crowded church of parishioners and tourists.
Surrounded by eighteen thousand other participants, Bro. Peter led the Flyers to the frontmost section of the Church and into the seats reserved for them by the Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of New York, Mr. Joseph Zwilling, father of two Chaminade graduates and Bro. Peter’s contact in the planning of the operation.
During the celebration of the Mass, the Flyers participated in every way they could. Owen Harte ’16, Michael O’Grady ’16, Tommy Srisuro ’19, and Eddie Stankewick ’19 brought the gifts of bread and wine up to the Cardinal during the offering. After the Mass, the students took pictures with the Cardinal and were able to take self-guided tours throughout the cathedral.
At around 12:15 PM, the group marched to Times Square and purchased food for lunch. After lunch, the group trekked another eighteen blocks from Times Square back to Penn Station. They then rode the 2:21 PM train back to Mineola, and Bro. Peter concluded the pilgrimage with the recitation of the Marianist 3 O’clock Prayer.
Senior Owen Harte, commenting on his fourth time participating in the pilgrimage, said that he “really enjoyed the experience of seeing the beauty of the church and the city at Christmastime. Just being with the people of Chaminade and the city to worship God made this a very special trip in regards to all the other trips I have taken throughout my Chaminade career.”