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As part of the National Eucharistic Revival movement, Father Chris Martin carried a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament in a Corpus Christi procession on Lindell Boulevard June 10. The procession started at St. Francis Xavier “College” Church and concluded at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis with adoration and Benediction.
As part of the National Eucharistic Revival movement, Father Chris Martin carried a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament in a Corpus Christi procession on Lindell Boulevard June 10. The procession started at St. Francis Xavier “College” Church and concluded at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis with adoration and Benediction.
Photo Credit: Trenton Almgren-Davis | [email protected]

‘We have to show Christ to the people’ | Catholics process through city streets in archdiocesan Corpus Christi procession

Catholics process through city streets in archdiocesan Corpus Christi procession

Serge and Karin Nal pulled their Ford Explorer to the side of Lindell Boulevard. They sat silently, observing the about 275 pilgrims reverently following Father Chris Martin as he carried a monstrance down the sidewalk in a eucharistic procession.

In their hometown of Lisieux, France, the Nals have witnessed processions with thousands of participants. In the midst of their business trip to St. Louis, the pilgrims’ public witness deeply moved them.

“We are very happy that you are doing a procession and very pleased to see the people in the streets,” Serge Nal said. “It is important for the Lord to go through the city, and we are just following along, no matter where we are from. We must let Him do the work.”

Participants in a Corpus Christi procession June 10 crossed the street at the intersection of Vandeventer Avenue and Lindell Boulevard. The procession from St. Francis Xavier “College” Church to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis kicked off the parish year of the National Eucharistic Revival.
Photo Credits: Trenton Almgren-Davis | [email protected]
Organized by the archdiocesan Eucharistic Revival planning committee, the candlelight procession had a two-fold aim: to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and kick off the parish year of the National Eucharistic Revival.

A three-year endeavor, the National Eucharistic Revival aims to catechize the True Presence of the Eucharist and help Catholics encounter the Lord in the Eucharist.

Before the June 10 procession, participants gathered in St. Francis Xavier “College” Church to listen to a talk on the Eucharist by Father Donald Anstoetter, director of worship at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

“Most of us have heard the Good News and we kind of believe, but we have not encountered the risen Lord,” Father Anstoetter said. “When we do truly encounter Him in the Eucharist, it changes everything.”

That message resonated with Pam Welte, a parishioner at Our Lady Queen of Peace in House Springs. Three years ago, she felt the Holy Spirit prompting her to return to Mass. Since that first encounter, she dove head first into her Catholic faith and seeks to evangelize everywhere she goes.

“The Eucharist is the greatest gift that God ever gave to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is our life,” Welte said. “There is nowhere we wouldn’t travel to partake in the sacrament, to honor and worship Him.”

Pilgrims from across the archdiocese joined Welte to walk with the Lord from the College Church to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Father Brian Fallon held the monstrance containing the Eucharist during the procession. About 275 people participated in the procession. Some observers in cars and on foot joined the group in a sign of faith and commitment.
Photo Credits: Trenton Almgren-Davis | [email protected]
“With everything going on with All Things New, the procession was a show of unity,” Welte said. “The procession was a great way for everybody to get together. We have a lot of little churches, but we are all one big Church. It makes us feel connected. Everybody has asked us today where we are from, and it’s just so neat.”

Led by a crucifix bearer and an escort of seminarians, Father Anstoetter, Father Martin and Father Brian Fallon took turns carrying the monstrance down Lindell Boulevard. Pilgrims carried red candles in silence behind the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard, who bore their swords and regalia.

Cars slowed, pedestrians paused and business patrons stared out windows, curious as to who was walking by. Some cars and pedestrians stopped, joining the procession in a sign of faith and commitment.

“Walking in silence was a really good option for making His presence known to others, and that was visible to all the people along the route who asked what we were doing and asking if that is Jesus,” said Jane Guenther, director of the archdiocesan Catholic Renewal Center and coordinator of the archdiocesan Eucharistic Revival.

From left, Johansy Hernandez, Xiomara Hernandez and Angie Hernandez, who are members of “la Sociedad de Adoración Nocturna Nacional,” prayed during adoration at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.
Photo Credits: Trenton Almgren-Davis | [email protected]
The Nals followed the procession in their car, reflecting on the importance of being public witnesses to the Eucharist and the faith.

“We have to show Christ to the people. If we don’t show Him to the people, then they won’t know,” Karin Nal said.

At the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski awaited the pilgrims’ arrival, ready to lead his flock into the cathedral basilica. After receiving the monstrance from Father Martin, the archbishop led the procession to the altar for a period of adoration and Benediction.

Before the evening’s conclusion, Archbishop Rozanski gave a special blessing to those in attendance who were newly baptized, confirmed, married or had recently received their first Communion.

Phil and Ally Brotherton brought their three young sons, including 11-week-old Josh. Father David Hogan, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception in Dardenne Prairie, invited the family to attend.

“Being able to have our son Josh receive that blessing so close to his baptism was very special,” Phil Brotherton said.

Father Donald Anstoetter processed with a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament along Lindell Boulevard June 10.
Photo Credits: Trenton Almgren-Davis | [email protected]
Beyond the blessing, the procession provided the Brothertons a unique opportunity to walk with other Catholics in worshiping the Lord and invite Him to enter into their lives.

“With three kids under the age of four, our life is very chaotic,” Ally Brotherton said. “This pilgrimage was another opportunity to welcome Jesus into our chaos. Here, our chaos was accepted; it was welcomed. Getting to worship Jesus in this special way with all these welcoming people was really powerful.”


>> The National Eucharistic Revival

The National Eucharistic Revival is a three-year, grassroots movement sponsored by the U.S. bishops. Aimed at evangelizing the True Presence of the Eucharist to Catholics across the United States, the revival enters its second year. From June 11 until the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis July 17-21, 2024, the parish year will offer expanded opportunities for Catholics to learn more and encounter Jesus in the Eucharist within their own parish. Following the parish year of revival, pilgrims will process from four cities — San Fransisco, California; Lake Itasca, Minnesota; Brownsville, Texas; and New Haven, Connecticut — with the Eucharist to Indianapolis for the Congress. For updates, subscribe to the National Eucharistic Revival at stlreview.com/3Npqie4.

Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski knelt before a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament during adoration at the conclusion of a Corpus Christi procession June 10 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.
Photo Credits: Trenton Almgren-Davis | [email protected]


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