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Midshipmen Attend Pilgrimage for the Sea Services

KINGS POINT, N.Y., Oct. 15, 2019 –Midshipmen members of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Newman Club recently traveled to Emmitsburg, Md., for the Annual Pilgrimage of the Sea Services. The Newman Club, named after Saint John Henry Newman, who was canonized a saint just this past weekend, is USMMA’s Catholic Club.

The pilgrimage, was held at the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Patroness of the Sea Services - which include the U.S. Merchant Marine, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Public Health Service. The pilgrimage, co-sponsored each year by the Seton Shrine and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), offers prayers for those who serve or have served.

The event commenced with a Mass in the Basilica. The chief celebrant was The Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, S.J., Bishop of Oakland, Calif., a retired chaplain in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Among those in the congregation were active-duty and retired personnel, and midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy and USMMA. The midshipmen were joined by USMMA Alumni, Captain George McShea, ’68, President of the Apostleship of the Sea, USA, and Mr. Chris Bahret, ’87, as well as Club Advisor, Veronica Barry. Plebe Anna Hercules, served as lector.

In his homily, Bishop Barber spoke directly to the midshipmen in attendance: “Someday soon,” he said, “you will become a commanding officer or a captain of a ship. It is vitally important you provide a priest-chaplain to your crew if you are going into harm’s way. If you are ordering young men and women into battle, in which they very well may die in defense of their country, you owe it to them – to give them the chance to be, ‘in the state of Grace.’”

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