Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 22, 2009
Onlookers stop as Bread of Life goes on his way
WCR PHOTO | CHRIS MILLER
Hundreds of Catholics followed Archbishop Richard Smith as he carried the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Edmonton June 14.
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - Onlookers stopped whatever they were doing as hundreds of Catholics processed through downtown Edmonton June 14 behind the Blessed Sacrament.
Whether they were sitting on benches, playing in parks, or gardening in their yards, people looked up as the Blessed Sacrament processed by in the annual Corpus Christi procession.
It's the fourth consecutive year that the archbishop of Edmonton has carried the Holy Eucharist in procession following Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica.
The Corpus Christi procession honours the Eucharist, and is not a commemoration of a particular event in Jesus' life. This is a feast of faith, a time to pray for the needs of the whole community.
People were reminded that at Communion they do not receive "holy bread" or "blessed bread" - they receive the Body and Blood of Christ. It is the Lord coming to them under the sign of earthly food, to bring supernatural life.
At the end of Mass, as is customary, Archbishop Richard Smith carried the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Edmonton to four places of prayer.
Colleen Lagrange, from St. Albert, enjoyed the hot, sunny day. She has participated in all four Corpus Christi processions, and noted that this year's was not as well attended as previous years.
Making their faith public, those who participate in the Corpus Christi procession demonstrate to friends and strangers that they belong to Jesus.
"I just think it's a very beautiful procession to take Christ through the streets," said Lagrange.
Curious people snapped photos of the participants. City police blocked downtown streets to allow the procession to continue safely.
Prayer stations were set out along the route at Edmonton General Hospital, St. Joachim's, Ezio Farone and Grandin Park. At each station the procession paused for special prayers and various intentions, and finished with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The hospital was the site of the blessing for the sick. People prayed for the sick, health care workers and all caregivers.
A NEW TRADITION
The Biffert family from Red Deer walked in the annual event.
"It was an opportunity to show our kids how we honour and adore the Body of Christ, and also to see the great basilica and be a part of the big parade," said Kenton Biffert.
Meeting new people and praying with them was another reason for attending, he said.
"We are converts to the Catholic faith, so this is only the third year we've been Catholic. We're starting a new tradition with our family. We want to come down to the basilica every year."