Marian Pilgrimage Draws Catholics to Centralia

The annual Marian Pilgrimage at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church in Centralia drew hundreds of Eastern and Latin Rite Catholics to the near-ghost town in Columbia County on Aug. 25.

The church, with its spotless white bell tower, overlooks the once-flourishing coal town, rendered desolate since the underground mine fires that ignited in 1962. Each August, the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia hosts a Marian pilgrimage on the church grounds, drawing worshipers from along the east coast.