It’s an old Catholic tradition to visit 7 churches on Holy Thursday.


By Neal Heitz


My wife and I look forward to a special event we partake in every Holy Thursday.  It’s an old Catholic tradition to visit 7 churches on Holy Thursday. While neither of us partook in this tradition growing up, as adults we look forward to this special event every year.  Certainly the event is religious in nature but it also gives us a chance to explore our beloved Chicago a bit more intimately.  Have you ever gone past a beautiful, old church and said to yourself, “One day I will stop in and see it”? For many years we said we should check out some of this magnificent architecture and never did.

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Photo: St. Mary of Perpetual Help Catholic Church

1 Comment

  1. “It’s an old Catholic tradition to visit 7 churches on Holy Thursday.”

    An old Catholic tradition?! Obviously, we must approach this notion with caution.

    What do the Vatican II documents say about it? Should the Catholic visitor be accompanied by a Buddhist or Moslem or Jew? Or by all three? Should they be directed to place their religious totems on the altars of the churches visited and offer devotions according to their “faiths?” Should their Catholic guide refrain from any reference to the Holy Day and its significance, lest any offense be given?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    All acidity aside, I recommend that any Catholic wishing to observe this tradition in the future first read Michael Rose’s definitive opus about modern church architecture, entitled Ugly as Sin.

    That way they can know which buildings to avoid as they make their round of seven.

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