The large Catholic gathering of Divine Mercy Sunday that brings thousands of visitors to Stockbridge, Massachusetts each year went off without major incident this past weekend. More than 20,000 people were expected, but numbers were lower because fields still wet from winter limited parking at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy.
The Marian Fathers had to cancel buses of pilgrims because of the limited parking, according to Stockbridge Police Chief Robert Eaton Jr. For the first time, Eaton Jr. says Stockbridge and state police worked with the state’s Emergency Management Agency to set up a mobile incident command center complete with two K-9 units, surveillance cameras and a helicopter.
“It’s normal protocol,” Eaton Jr. said. “It has been for a number of years for emergency responders to prepare at this level for any major event no different than the Boston Marathon or any major parade. This is a major event and it needed to be treated that way.”
Eaton Jr. says there were no known threats. New York’s Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivered a liturgy Sunday.