Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 6, 2005
Taking Jesus to the streets
Archbishop leads Corpus Christi procession
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
For the first time in living memory, Edmonton Catholics marked the feast of Corpus Christi with an outdoor procession led by their archbishop through the streets of the city May 29.
The procession followed a special early afternoon Corpus Christi Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica.
It was led by young people carrying a replica of the World Youth Day cross followed by people holding banners, Polish Catholics in traditional attire, priests in white vestments and Archbishop Thomas Collins under a canopy carrying the monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament.
About 1,000 people took part in the procession, which stopped at the General Hospital to pray for the sick, at Grandin Park to pray for the young and at Ezio Farone Park to pray for the whole community. The procession ended at St. Joachim Church, Edmonton's oldest church.
The feast of Corpus Christi reminds Christians to be attentive to Christ's real presence in the Blessed Sacrament, Collins said at the Mass. "Let us be attentive to the great mystery of the Holy Eucharist for the Lord gives himself to us in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; every time we receive our Lord in Communion we are joined to him," he said.
"Let us be attentive to the presence of God in our lives. Let us be attentive to the Lord who comes to us in the Holy Eucharist and who also comes to us in the people (we meet in our daily lives). Let us also be attentive to our brothers and sisters who are hungry and in need, who are lonely and sick."
The Corpus Christi procession publicly highlights the fact that the Eucharist is a central focus for Catholics. That's the reason Brian Doran and his wife Valerie and their four small children took part in the procession.
Walking with Christ
"We know that the Corpus Christi procession is an opportunity to walk with Christ our King and to show everyone around that our faith is real and we believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist," Brian said. "It's a way to show our love for Christ."
Valerie agreed, saying through the procession the Catholic community will grow stronger in its relationship with Christ. "I hope it will remind other Catholics that Christ is the centre and the summit of our Christian life."
"I think this is a great way to express our faith," said Ashlee Makichuk, 19, of Lloydminster. Makichuk said the procession was good preparation for World Youth Day in Germany, which she and nine others from Lloydminster will attend.
"This is like the kick off."
Mike Sangrett, a 21-year-old from Hobbema, came to the procession with other young people to show his love for the Lord. "I am very proud to be walking with the Lord," he said.