January 14, 2022

New monthly feature will use travel twist to highlight parishes

By Natalie Hoefer

Mass Excursions logoThe Archdiocese of Indianapolis is vast. It reaches from the scenic Ohio River to the skyline of Indianapolis, to the borders of Illinois and Ohio.

In regions from rural to urban, farmland to suburbs, wooded and hilly to cosmopolitan and flat, the 126 parishes within the archdiocese’s 39-county area do tremendous work sharing the good news of Christ and serving their local communities.

Together, the more than 221,500 Catholics comprising these parishes form one family in Christ.

What family doesn’t celebrate their relatives’ accomplishments and visit them for a meal from time to time?

Likewise, wouldn’t it be interesting to worship at Mass with family members in Christ around the archdiocese, to admire their churches and to see the areas they serve?

We at The Criterion think so. That’s why we’re starting a new monthly feature called “Mass Excursions.”

Consider it a parish spotlight with a travel twist.

Each article will introduce a parish, provide a brief history and share its unique ministries and traditions.

Then it will suggest an excursion to the area that includes time for Mass at the parish. Perhaps the trip will center around a parish festival, a nearby attraction or an event a parish’s region is known for. Maybe there is a local dive the parish priest recommends for the best grub in town.

For instance, an article highlighting St. Mary Parish in Greensburg might conclude by recommending going to Mass there in late August during the parish’s festival and also suggest a drive by the Decatur County Courthouse with the world-famous tree growing through its roof for more than a century.

Or after an article discussing St. Mary-of-the-Woods Parish in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, it might suggest worshiping at Mass there after spending a Saturday taking in the beautiful grounds and grottoes of the nearby Sisters of Providence’s motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Or the end of an article spotlighting Prince of Peace Parish in Madison might propose combining Mass there with a day of hiking at Clifty Falls State Park.

The goal of the monthly feature is two-fold. First, it aims to shine a light on all of the parishes in our expansive archdiocese. Second, it seeks to encourage readers to worship at Mass in churches throughout central and southern Indiana, a journey made more doable when combined with a fun outing.

We hope you come to appreciate all of the archdiocese’s parishes, the beauty of their churches and the areas they serve, with Christ at the center of these “Mass Excursions.” †

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