Thank you for a wonderful turnout celebrating our freedom and religious liberty!
A message from Bishop Richard Pates:
"In response to the call of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for a "Fortnight for Freedom" June 21-July 4, and in solidarity with dioceses across the United States, the Diocese of Des Moines has chosen to hold a celebration walk and picnic on Sunday, July 1 intended to engage all ages in a relaxed, holiday spirit. This will be the major diocesan celebration during the Fortnight. The event will be festive and celebratory, with the walk and picnic reflecting our national Fourth of July spirit. The event is a visible expression of diocesan unity regarding religious liberty."
Read Bishop's remarks at the picnic.
The walk will begin at NOON on Sunday, July 1 at St. Ambrose Cathedral, at 6th Avenue and high Street in downtown Des Moines (see map below), and will proceed south to Locust Street, east on Locust to E. 7th, south to Walnut Street, then east on Walnut Street until E. 13th Street, where the walk will conclude. Those able to make the walk are encouraged to do so. The walk is 1.67 miles and with an estimated walk time of 40 minutes.
Those who cannot participate in the walk are welcome to meet at the destination point, which will be the lawn east of the state Capitol building, north of the World War II monument. Ample parking is available immediately near the picnic site.
A Hy-Vee catered picnic lunch will be offered (suggested donation $4) or you can bring your own picnic lunch. Lunch service will begin at noon for those that choose not to make the walk and will continue until approximately 2 p.m.
Additionally, a festive and spirited program will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will include celebrative music (including instrumental and vocal musicians provided by Dowling Catholic High School), Des Moines area speakers and an ecumenical prayer service. The event will conclude by 3 p.m.
Note: Please bring your own lawn chair or blanket to lay on the grass as there will be limited picnic tables and park benches available.
Tom Chapman, Executive Director, Iowa Catholic Conference
Dr. Barbara Decker, President, Mercy College
Joe Connolly, President, Council Bluffs St. Albert Schools
Transportation & parking
There are two options for transportation. For those who make the walk, bus shuttles will run from approximately 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. to take people back to the cathedral for those who parked nearby. For those who do not wish to participate in the walk, you are welcome to park in one of several available lots near the picnic sites. See the map below for parking options.
If you are interested in volunteering to help us with this event, please contact Jason Kurth at email@example.com.