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Annual Baraga Days celebration

Image: Portrait of Bishop Frederic BaragaBaraga Days is an annual commemoration and celebration of Bishop Frederic Baraga, a legendary figure in the history of northern Michigan and a pioneer of the American Catholic Church. He was the first bishop of the Diocese of Marquette, comprising the entire Upper Peninsula of northern Michigan. Known as the "snowshoe priest," Bishop Baraga is honored throughout the region by having schools, a city, and a county named after him, as well as shrines and sculptures dedicated to him. The Bishop Baraga Association, headquartered in the Diocese of Marquette, is dedicated to his memory and is the creator and organizer of the annual Baraga Days celebration.

The 2017 Baraga Days, Sept. 2-3, was hosted in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Activities included a presentation on the history of the Native American people of this area by Debra Gutowski, diocesan director of Native American Ministry, followed by a Drum Circle; and a presentation on "The Life and Times of Bishop Baraga - A Historical Review" by Dr. James A. Surrell. Masses were celebrated both days at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew - one in Slovenian on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 6:30 p.m. and one in English, celebrated by Bishop Walkowiak, on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 2 p.m.

Schedule of Events, Registration & Accommodations 

Visit the Baraga Days webpage for the full schedule of events, registration information and accommodations.

Bishop Baraga in West Michigan

In 1833, (then) Father Baraga established the beginnings of Saint Andrew Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., when he built the first church, St. Mary’s Mission, amid Indian cornfields on the west bank of the Grand River. At about the same time, he chose a site which the Catholic Odawa wished to have as their center for prayer “on an elevation, offering a beautiful view of the lake and the Maschkigong river.” The bluff is thought to be Pigeon Hill in present-day Muskegon, overlooking Muskegon Lake.
To learn more about Bishop Baraga and support his cause for sainthood, visit the Bishop Baraga Association website.