Diocesan Lenten Pilgrimages to Reflect Year of Mercy

By Colleen Rowan

With the theme “Celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy,” the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s Lenten pilgrimages will be held once again in Charleston, Morgantown and Wheeling featuring priests in the diocese known for their “quality of preaching.”

Organized by the diocesan Office of Worship and Sacraments, the pilgrimages will present the opportunity for Catholics to come together in prayer during the season of Lent. Each of the pilgrimages will begin with the opportunity to receive the sacrament of penance at 6 p.m. with various priests in the area available to hear confessions. Mass will follow at 7 p.m.

This is a special time for the pilgrimages to be held as the church has begun the celebration of the Year of Mercy, said Bernadette Kime, director of the Office of Worship and Sacraments. They present a unique opportunity, she said, for people to gather in prayer, focusing upon God’s boundless mercy and love.

“We encourage people to attend one of the Lenten pilgrimages in order to celebrate the Year of Mercy,” Kime said. “The theme of all three pilgrimages is of course God’s abundant mercy. … We are excited about these pilgrimages and ask that parishes consider making them part of their Lenten activities. Perhaps even traveling to the pilgrimage sites together as a group.”

This year’s pilgrimages will also feature priests in the diocese as the guest homilists who will  preach to faithful who may otherwise never have the opportunity to hear their words.

“Rather than to seek priests outside of the diocese, we have decided to do something like a pulpit exchange,” Kime said. “These are priests known for their quality of preaching who have been asked to travel to regions of the diocese where the faithful may never have heard them preach before.”

#8695a Ostrowski

Msgr. Eugene S. Ostrowski, V.F., pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Wheeling.

The first pilgrimage will be held at the Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Charleston March 2 with guest homilist Msgr. Eugene S. Ostrowski, V.F., pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Wheeling. The second will be held at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling March 9 with guest homilist Jesuit Father James Fleming, president of Wheeling Jesuit University. The final pilgrimage will be held at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Morgantown March 16 with guest homilist Msgr. P. Edward Sadie, P.A., V.F., S.T.L., rector of the basilica in Charleston.

Father Fleming began his service as the 10th president at Wheeling Jesuit University July 1, 2013. Prior to his appointment as president, Father Fleming served as the executive vice president of Wheeling Jesuit from 2010-13, overseeing the university’s operations and providing strategic leadership for program development, implementation and assessment.


Father James Fleming, president of Wheeling Jesuit University.

Father Fleming previously worked at Boston College as a faculty member in the Lynch School of Education and as director of Mission Assessment and Planning, where he led a national research project related to the spiritual development of college students through the design and administration of the Boston College Questionnaire about the Undergraduate Experience (BCQ).

Additionally, Father Fleming has served as a lecturer at the University of San Francisco, as the director of the University Academy, a university-school-community partnership in San Francisco, Calif., and as an instructor of urban education at Santa Clara University. He is the author of numerous articles and publications, and holds a doctorate in educational policy, organization, measurement and evaluation from the University of California, Berkeley.

Msgr. Ostrowski presently serves as pastor of Corpus Christi and as the vicar forane for the Wheeling Vicariate. He is in his 39th year as a priest of this diocese and, before that, he was a Marist Brother of the Schools for 21 years. As a diocesan priest he has served as director of the Office of Spirituality and Worship and director of the Office of Pastoral Planning. As a Marist Brother, he taught mathematics in high schools and colleges, was a formation director for the brothers, was a member of the Provincial Council and was director of Lay Retreats (Wheeling).

#9000a Sadie

Msgr. P. Edward Sadie, P.A., V.F., S.T.L., rector of the Basilica of The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Charleston.

Msgr. Sadie is a native of Parkersburg. He attended St. Charles Preparatory Seminary in  Catonsville, Md., for his high school education and his freshman and sophomore years of college. He attended St. Mary’s Major Seminary, Philosophy Division, in Baltimore for his junior and senior years of college, obtaining an A.B., philosophy degree. He studied at St. Mary’s Major Seminary, Theology Division, obtaining an S.T.B./S.T.L., theology degree; and obtained a master of arts in Latin from the University of Michigan.

He was ordained a priest June 1, 1957. From 1957-1963, he served as associate pastor of St. Mary Church and Mission in Blacksburg, Va., and chaplain at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Radford College, Va. From 1963-1969, he was vice rector, treasurer and instructor at St. Joseph Preparatory Seminary in Vienna. From 1969-1980, he was pastor of St. Agnes Parish in Charleston and, since 1980, has served as rector of the basilica in Charleston.

Msgr. Sadie is also the president of Charleston Catholic High School and administrator of Sacred Heart Grade School in Charleston. In 2005, he was appointed executive director of the Catholic Conference of West Virginia. That same year he was named a Prelate of Honor to His Holiness, entitling him to be addressed as monsignor.

Msgr. Sadie was appointed vicar forane of the Charleston Vicariate in 2006. He was also instrumental in having Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral raised to the status of a minor basilica in 2009. In 2013, he was elevated to the highest rank of monsignor, Protonotary Apostolic. He served on the Diocesan Commission for Religious Unity, the Diocesan Commission for Evangelization, the Diocesan Vocations Committee, the Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission of West Virginia and the Catholic Commission of West Virginia. He is presently serving on the Diocesan Board of Advisors for Catholic Schools, Trustee of the Priests Health and Retirement Association, the Diocesan Presbyteral Council, the Diocesan Consultors, St. Francis Hospital Board of Directors and the Catholic Charities West Virginia Board of Directors.  He has also served on various civic committees and college boards.

For more information, contact the Office of Worship and Sacraments at (304) 233-0880, ext. 289.