Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives Corpus Christi: Honoring Jesus in the Eucharist

June 29, 2022

By Mary Beth Bracy
Contributing Writer

PLATTSBURGH – “I think it was a wonderful event, I was very happy to see the turnout. I had no idea how many were going to participate, to make the procession around, even that was impressive – how many actually joined us on the walk,” shared Father Kevin D. McEwan, pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Plattsburgh.

Holy Cross held a Corpus Christi procession and devotions on Sunday, June 19, with about 150 faithful in attendance.

“People said ‘It was wonderful,’ ‘It was great to do this,’ ‘It’s been so long since we’ve had anything in the Church,’” Father McEwan said. “Celebrating Corpus Christi [the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ] is the thing that unifies us; it is a great way to help people see how our Lord Jesus Christ brings us together and how we share that as a community, as the Body of Christ itself.”

Father McEwan was inspired by the 150th anniversary of our diocese and promotion of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist to host the event, and it was organized by Father Tojo Chacko, HGN, parochial vicar. Father Medenal Angrand, parochial vicar, was also in attendance, along with several deacons, the Knights of Columbus honor guard, Catholic Daughters, and altar servers. The procession left from St. Peter’s Church and traveled around the block to a soccer field, where a special Adoration tent with an altar was set up, and decorated with candles and flowers. Those unable to walk the route were invited to remain in the tent. Holy Cross music ministry sang the Litany of the Blessed Sacrament and hymns, and Father McEwan led the Corpus Christi novena prayer.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to witness to the neighbors along the procession route and good witness to the church members – a great many were in attendance, including lots of children – who may not have previously participated in Eucharistic adoration,” reflected parishioner Marie Nacht.

Dave and Cathy Witkowski, parishioners, added, “We pray that the public display of the Blessed Sacrament and the personal witness of so many parishioners who took part in the procession will bring some enlightenment to the need for our Lord, by the community members who observed the activities.”

“I thought they [the attendants] all were very reverent and were there because they wanted to be there,” said Anita Soltero, assistant director of Education for Faith Formation and Catholic Schools for the diocese. “I know many in attendance were some of our regular adorers. They already have a great love for the Eucharist and take advantage of any opportunity to participate in community prayer and witness. We don’t have many opportunities for regular Benediction, so I think this was great, especially to have it outside, on such a beautiful sunny day. Even the windy condition made it special, like the Holy Spirit was saying ‘hello’ to us! I think the Eucharistic devotions may seem ‘old fashioned’ to a lot of people, but what they don’t see is the richness of the prayers. Holy Mother Church knows what her children need. When you open your heart and mind and truly join in the prayers, they are very powerful. They help connect you to Eucharist in different way, outside of Mass.”

Father McEwan said he hopes similar events will be offered by Holy Cross Parish in the future.

“Our hope is to try to make this a more common occurrence,” he said. “We hope to start doing more things to build up the community, people’s involvement. The Summer Festival [August 7] is going to invite families to come with their kids to play and have food after the celebration of the Mass. We’re trying to make plans for something around the feast of the Holy Cross. We’re trying to encourage people to come back to Church to be part of the Body of Christ, to live that, celebrate it, and receive graces that come through the Eucharist which is so important in their lives.”

The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament of unity.

“The celebration of Corpus Christ helped three parishes that were independent two years ago become this new entity,” Father McEwan said. “Ultimately to help them see what unites them, it has to be Christ Himself. So, the celebration of Corpus Christi becomes the wonderful catalyst for growing that unity. Also, that’s really tied so well with the Trinity, the perfect union with God in the three persons. To get our parishes to mirror that, to all work together – yes, we have three worship sites, but we are one Church, one Body of Christ. It’s not just Plattsburgh, it’s also united to the reality of the Diocese of Ogdensburg which relates to the bigger picture of our country and the universal Church.”

Referring to the National Eucharistic Revival, which began on Corpus Christi, Father McEwan added, “Part of the reason for the bishops promoting the Real Presence is because people have forgotten or lost sight of how important coming to Church is and how it helps sustain them, how it helps support them. It does all of these things for them. Our society has lost sight of that, so we need to help remind them, especially in turbulent times; there is so much going on not only in our own country but throughout the world. People aren’t really sure what they’re supposed to do. But there is a wonderful means or vehicle to help pull them back and realize there is something far greater. Sometimes maybe even we can take certain things for granted – we always have the Eucharist – and we don’t always recognize the graces that are there, the opportunities that are there in that wonderful gift of Our Lord.”

Flowing from worship of the Holy Eucharist is service, Father McEwan concluded.

“Our soup kitchen is trying to go back to in-person, to come sit down and eat, the social aspect,” he said. “For us to make those connections is an important thing. By having this Corpus Christi celebration, it was the starting point, the jump off point for people to hopefully see it and build on it.”

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.