Jesus Christ: God with us — Corpus Christi procession returns to Kearny soon

On Sunday, June 2, 2024, Catholics throughout the United States will observe the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ). To celebrate this day, St Stephen’s parish is conducting its annual street procession of the Blessed Sacrament starting at the Church, around 1:15 p.m., immediately following the noon Mass and ending at approximately 2:15 p.m. back at St. Stephen’s.

This year’s procession is particularly meaningful because the Catholic Church in the United States is continuing its three-year National Eucharistic Revival initiative.  In this phase of the revival, all parishes are encouraged to observe Corpus Christi with a procession with the Blessed Sacrament.

The Corpus Christi procession, traditionally on the feast day, is a public witness of faith and worship of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It’s founded upon the church’s belief Jesus becomes substantially present to us in the Eucharist at Mass.

The Corpus Christi procession is one of a number of ways Catholics express their devotion to Christ. A procession of the Blessed Sacrament involves the priest or deacon carrying the consecrated host in a special container called a “monstrance.”

Parishioners follow singing hymns and praying together.

The annual procession on the feast of Corpus Christi has a special importance and meaning for the pastoral life of the parish and town. When the Eucharist is carried through the streets in a solemn procession, the parishioners not only will be praying together in a public witness of faith in Jesus Christ’s presence with us but it will also be an opportunity for them to pray for the local community and its needs.

According to the Rev. Joseph Mancini, pastor of St. Stephen’s Church: “We began to celebrate at the parish level the year of Eucharistic Revival on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi last year, on June 11, 2023.”

During this parish year, Father Joe further said: “In order to help parishioners rekindle their relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist, we are holding Eucharistic adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the church every Monday evening. You might ask — ‘Why does Eucharistic adoration matter?’ Eucharistic adoration makes sense on the basis of a recognition that the Eucharist is substantially God-with-us, that is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ made present to us in sacred host in the monstrance.

“All of us live busy and, at times, fragmented lives. Eucharistic adoration can be an oasis in this busy-ness of life that reminds us that we are not defined by what we do, how busy we are or whether we are successful or not. Rather, what defines us is the love of the God the Father. When we come to Eucharistic adoration, the throne of God we see is not the heavenly throne yet, but the monstrance which is a real throne. That’s why it is typically covered in gold, or at least very ornate. In the center of the throne is the Lamb of God, Jesus who takes away the sins of the world. How blessed are we who come before this throne.”

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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.