by: SUBMITTED - Parishioners gather for the first-ever Holy Rosary Mission pilgrimage in 1954.The members of Holy Rosary Mission, Crooked Finger, are preparing for their 60th annual pilgrimage in honor of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, a Holy Day of Obligation.

This year’s pilgrimage will be held on Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. It will begin with the recitation of the Rosary in procession, followed by Mass outdoors. The celebrant and homilist will be Father Philip Waibel, who is also pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Mount Angel.

All are invited to this Holy Day of Obligation at the cooler elevation of 1,645 feet in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

Pope Pius XII declared 1954 a “Marian year.” This special year was in honor of the 100th anniversary which defined the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Mother of Jesus.

Father Hildebrand Melchior, Order of St. Benedict, administrator of Holy Rosary Church, was the organizer of the first pilgrimage. Father Hildebrand felt although Holy Rosary was small in numbers, the enthusiasm of its members would help them do “something big for Our Lady.”

Self-guided tours of the church are available before and after Mass.

A project to be completed before Aug. 15 is the building of a new front deck and steps by the Joe Bielenberg Family, in memory of their father. Holy Rosary Church is the only place in the Portland Archdiocese that has continuously celebrated an annual pilgrimage since the 1954 Marian year.

Refreshments will be available in the church basement following Mass.

Holy Rosary Church in Crooked Finger is located five miles southeast of Scotts Mills on Ettlin Loop Road.

For more information or directions, contact Margaret Gersch at 503-873-6596, Pat Schonbachler at 503-873-6405 or Father Philip Waibel at 503-845-2296.

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