Monday, October 22, 2012

Bishop Sample: "Crossing the UP"

I have “liked” Bishop Alexander Sample’s Face Book page, and I must say I really do “like” it! This bishop definitely has a vision and a plan, and the energy to implement it.

This last weekend, the Bishop and his entourage made a pilgrimage across the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan. On Friday, October 19, his Face Book status said:

Well, tomorrow (Saturday) we begin the big “kick-off” for the Year of Faith in the Diocese of Marquette as I make the “sign of the Cross” over the entire Upper Peninsula. I will travel over 1140 miles in two days as I place the diocese under the sign of the Cross, the symbol of our faith, in preparation for the New Evangelization. FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER (@BishopSample) as I make this historic pilgrimage. And pray the deer and moose stay away from my car!

On Saturday, the status was:

We have begun our pilgrimage to "cross the U.P." as we kick off this Year of Faith in the Diocese of Marquette. We just left Ishpeming on our way to Copper Harbor to begin the Cross. Fr.. Ben Hasse, a priest of the diocese will be doing most of the posting on my page today. He will sign his posts with FBH. I will occasionally post myself. Guardian Angels, protect us!

And off they went!

All weekend, the pilgrimage went on, as the group made the “sign of the cross” on the U.P. (Upper Peninsula, for those of you who haven’t a clue what those letters might stand for – which was the case for me!)

Now, I’m not at all familiar with the geography of Michigan, and I live some 1800 miles or so from Marquette. But strangely enough, I felt energized and excited about this event as it unfolded on Face Book! 

Along the way, there were little video snippets of the Bishop – some were of him speaking from the passenger seat of the car in which he was traveling, and some were of homilies he gave along the way. It appears that at each major stop, a procession was held.

The name of Bishop Baraga came up often:

L'Anse already: One of Bishop Baraga's first & most important missions!!! One of the inspirations for our journey is Venerable Baraga's practice of planting a cross as he arrived in a new mission. Providential that today is the memorial of St. Paul of the Cross! FBH

Bishop Frederic Baraga, was the first bishop of Marquette. There’s a lot of information at the link about his history and his cause for sainthood. Here’s one paragraph:

Father Baraga arrived in the New World on December 31, 1830. For the next 37 years he traveled the length and breadth of the Great Lakes area to minister to the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. His first mission (Arbre Croche, 1833-1835) was established along the shore of Lake Michigan at present day Harbor Springs to Cross Village. Fr. Baraga labored two years at Grand River (1833-1835) presently known as Grand Rapids, before moving his mission to LaPointe (1835-1843) and L' Anse (1843-1853) on Lake Superior. During the summer months, Father Baraga traveled on foot and by canoe. During the winter months, he traveled on snowshoes thus giving him the titles of "Apostle of the Lakelands" and "Snowshoe Priest." He wrote long and frequent accounts of his missionary activities including a three-volume diary. He also wrote seven Slovenian prayer books and authored 20 Native American books which includes his monumental Grammar and Dictionary of the Chippewa Language , still in use today. He was the first bishop to write a pastoral letter in both the English and Chippewa languages.

Here are a few of the video clips:

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