Sacred Heart Church’s annual pilgrimage celebrates faith


Sacred Heart Church in Island Park embarked on their second annual pilgrimage to St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre to honor the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The event on June 7 was a demonstration of the parishioners’ faith and devotion, highlighting the significance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Catholic belief.

Monsignor John Tutone, the pastor of Sacred Heart Church, concelebrated the Mass alongside Bishop John Barres of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and other diocesan priests. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus honors the heart of Jesus—a cornerstone of Catholic faith and the church’s namesake. The Mass, organized by the Diocese of Rockville Centre, was a pivotal part of the celebration.

“If we are serious about the things we pray for, we need to show God we are serious,” Tutone said. “We must show him how much our prayers and petitions mean to us, we need to inconvenience ourselves and sacrifice a little bit. Sacrifice is the language of love. That is what our pilgrimage is all about.”

The event saw a robust attendance, with a significant contingent from Sacred Heart Church. Altar servers and this year’s confirmation candidates joined the parish community to partake in the sacred celebration.

“I have to say, I was absolutely overwhelmed with the showing from our parish,” Tutone said. “It was wonderful to see especially how many of our children were in attendance. That really says a lot that they gave up their Friday evening.”

A special Sacred Heart Banner adorned with countless petitions placed by parishioners, graced the foot of the altar at St. Agnes Cathedral, underscoring the collective prayers and hopes of the community.

Reflecting on the event’s success, Monsignor Tutone elaborated on the deeper meaning of the Sacred Heart in Catholic faith.

“With any set of beliefs there is a lot to unpack, that is true with Catholics of course,” he said. “But we find in the Sacred Heart many if not all of the components of our faith, there is a God, who is deeply in love with all of us, and always ready to forgive. All of that is rolled up in the Sacred Heart”

Sacred Heart Church, located on Long Beach Road in Island Park, has been a spiritual home for Island Park Catholics since its establishment in 1938. Tutone has served as pastor for three decades. St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre serves as the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and is the seat of the Bishop. The annual pilgrimage and the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus continue to be a testament to the enduring faith and unity of the Sacred Heart Church community, as they gather in reverence and celebration. Tutone redirected the success of the event to the parishioners,

“People are quick to point to the pastor, or even the Bishop when something like this is a massive success,” he said. “Truth is, it is the parishioners, who out of their faith and devotion inconvenienced themselves for God. I told them the time and place, and they showed up.”