By Tony DeGol
The great tradition of public displays of faith in the city of Johnstown continued recently with a solemn Eucharistic procession from Saint John Gualbert Cathedral to nearby Central Park.
Hundreds made the trek from the historic church to the park on the sunny and warm afternoon of July 10.
With the Saint John Gualbert choir leading the sacred music, representatives from the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas joined local Catholics in the procession. Bishop Mark carried the monstrance under a processional canopy accompanied by clergy and seminarians.
Johnstown police directed traffic as the faithful walked the streets to their destination.
The Eucharistic procession was inspired by a group of individuals who gather routinely to pray the Rosary in Central Park. They partnered with the Very Reverend Matthew Baum, Rector of the Cathedral, to plan the marvelous event, which followed a special afternoon Mass at Saint John Gualbert celebrated by Bishop Mark.
In his homily, the Bishop reminded the crowd of our duty as Catholics to serve the needs of others.
“You and I are called to be people of mercy in a world when true mercy is not often shared with others,” he said.
The more mercy we show, the more blessings we will find, the Bishop insisted.
“From this altar, from every altar where we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, the Lord shares with each of us the grace and mercy we need to be real neighbors in our world,” he added.
The Johnstown Mass and Eucharistic procession occurred just weeks after the Catholic Church in America began a Eucharistic Revival – a three year period during which Bishops of the United States hope for a renewal in the Church through each person’s heightened relationship the Jesus Christ through His True Presence in the Eucharist.
“What more can you do – and should you do – to share the Body and Blood of Christ with other people who are in need?,” the Bishop posed. “Our observance today should be, and continues to be, about what you and I can do to be real neighbors in our world, to be the living presence for the good of others, so that they may know that they, too, are part of the Body of Christ.”