The Prayer Pilgrimage

The Plan

Beginning in New Orleans, the priests arranged to terminate their pilgrimage at the 1961 General Convention in Detroit, Michigan. The group had a mission to visit Church and Church-related educational institutions to show concern that Church-sponsored institutions should have no restrictions based on race. Their actions were not supported by the bishops in the dioceses they wished to visit, but the group persevered. Twenty-eight priests left New Orleans aboard a chartered bus on September 12, 1961. Upon arrival at their first stop in Jackson, Mississippi, fifteen of the clergy entered the bus terminal in an integrated group. They were immediately arrested, jailed, and sentenced to four months in prison. [Sources]