Corpus Christi procession returns to St. Stephen’s June 19

Deacon Earl White, center, carries the Monstrance, containing the body of Christ, at a prior procession. Photo courtesy of Earl White

The Parish Community of St. Stephen’s, Kearny, will celebrate the Catholic Feast of Corpus Christi Sunday, June 19, with its annual street procession with the Blessed Sacrament (Holy Eucharist or Consecrated Host) immediately following the noon Mass.

The procession route will move from the front of the church on Kearny Avenue, east to Laurel Avenue, turning right onto Chestnut Street, proceeding across the Chestnut Street Bridge to the corner of Chestnut Street and Midland Avenue turning right on Midland Avenue and proceeding to Kearny Avenue, turning right onto Kearny Avenue returning to the St. Stephen’s Church.

Up to 100 worshippers are expected to participate in the procession.  

A procession of the Blessed Sacrament involves a priest carrying the consecrated Host in a special container called a Monstrance. The parishioners of St. Stephen’s and others have been invited to follow behind, singing hymns and praying together in a public witness of faith in Jesus Christ’s presence with us.

It is also an opportunity for us to pray for the local community and its needs.

Each year, since the 13th century, the universal Catholic Church has celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, (in Latin “Corpus Christi”). This Solemnity celebrates the Catholic Church’s teaching of the real presence of Jesus, that in the sacrament of the Eucharist, is contained really, truly and substantially the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

In other words, what the Catholic Church teaches is that when Catholics receive the Host (Body of Christ) and the wine (Precious Blood of Christ) they receive Jesus Himself, not a symbol thereof.

Since the 15th century, the church has encouraged a public witness of veneration toward the Holy Eucharist on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, especially with a procession to be conducted through streets of towns and cities.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.