June 2, 2024

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ


Father John Gerritts

Pastor's Weekly Message

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ or Corpus Christi.  This is the third year for us to have a Eucharistic Procession.  Most parishes or clusters in our Diocese have begun having a Eucharistic Procession.  Participation has been very good and those who participate appreciate how it enlivens their appreciation for our belief that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.

Plan to join us following the 10:30 AM Mass (about 11:30).  Following the prayer after Communion and announcements, the Eucharist will be placed in the monstrance.  (The name “monstrance” comes from the Latin word “to show”.)  Then amid song, we will form our procession behind the Eucharist, led by the Knights of Columbus and altar servers.  Exiting the church, we will head toward Wisconsin Street.  Along the way we will recite the Rosary and continue to sing.  At Wisconsin Street we will turn right, toward Vine Street.  At Vine Street, before crossing, we will stop for prayer.  Then we will cross Vine Street and turn right, continuing with song and prayer.  Following the sidewalk, we will head down toward Spruce Drive.  We will cross Vine Street and head back into our parking lot.  As we arrive at the parking lot, we will again stop for prayer.  Then we will head back into the main doors of the church for Benediction.

The purpose of a Eucharistic Procession is that it gives us the opportunity to give public witness to our devotion to and adoration toward the Most Holy Eucharist.  Pope Benedict XVI, in a homily, said of this feast day and Eucharistic Processions in particular, “It was born for the very precise purpose of openly reaffirming the faith of the people of God in Jesus Christ, alive and truly present in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist.  It is a feast that was established in order to publicly adore, praise and thank the Lord, who continues ‘to love us to the end,’ even to offering us his body and his blood.”

As we carry our monstrance around our church and down the neighboring streets, it is interesting to note that the largest monstrance in the world is found in Valencia, Spain.  It is made of 1,300 pounds of silver, eleven pounds of gold, and 2.6 ounces of platinum.  It is adorned with hundreds of precious stones and thousands of pearls.  It is actually carried on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi through the streets of Valencia.

Our monstrance is much more modest, but it is fitting for what it holds, the Body of Christ.  Whether you participate in the procession or not, this Sunday’s Solemnity is a good time for us to make a commitment to include Eucharistic Adoration into our summer schedule.  Whether we do it once or on a weekly basis, I encourage you to make a commitment to visit our chapel and participate in Adoration.  Adoration takes place Monday through Friday, following the 8:00 AM Mass until 10:00 PM.  (On Friday it ends at 5:00 PM, with praying Evening prayer and Benediction starting at 4:45 PM).

Father John Gerritts

Father John is the Pastor at Saint Patrick Parish in Hudson, Wisconsin.