Memorial marches, funeral Mass for the late Rev. Bill Bichsel to take place this week

The Rev. Bill Bichsel, Tacoma’s activist Catholic priest who died Feb. 28 at age 86, will be remembered by the South Sound community at several events this week:

• On Thursday, members of the community are invited to gather at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, 16159 Clear Creek Road NW in Poulsbo.

At 2 p.m., the group will walk or drive to the main gate of Naval Base Kitsap at Bangor, a spot where Bichsel spent many years protesting the base’s nuclear armaments.

The ecumenical gathering will include a Catholic communion service.

• On Friday, a peace walk will begin at the Peace Pole at the Tacoma Catholic Worker, a community he co-founded in 1989. It is at 1417 S. G St. in Tacoma.

The walk, tentatively set to begin mid-afternoon, will trace the arc of Bichsel’s life, including his place of birth, his school and the federal courthouse in Tacoma, where Bichsel chained himself to the doors to protest the United States’ invasion of Iraq.

• At 7 p.m. Friday, a vigil will begin at St. Leo Church, 710 S. 13th St. in Tacoma.

• On Saturday, a funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. at St. Leo. Those who attend are asked to park in the lots at Bates Technical College on South 12th Street and Yakima Avenue so that older people or those with mobility issues can park in the church parking lot.

After the Mass, there will be a procession from the church to the grounds of the Tacoma Catholic Worker community.

For more information and updates, visit psnukefree.blogspot.com.

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