By Teresa Golden
The streets of Johnstown were filled with beautiful sights and sounds on July 9 as dozens of clergy and lay people processed through the town from Saint John Gualbert Cathedral to Central Park, bringing the Holy Eucharist with them.
The Eucharistic observances began with the 5:00 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral, followed by the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and procession of the monstrance through the streets of downtown to Central Park. Adoration and Benediction were then held at the Central Park Gazebo. The procession included the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, altar servers from various parishes, readers, music ministry from Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, canopy bearers and ushers, all followed by the various lay people who participated in the event and helped it to be a beautiful display of the Holy Eucharist.
This event required months of planning, which included working with the city to use the park gazebo and blocking off the streets that were needed for the people to walk to the park.
Advertising and community outreach was an important aspect of the planning process because it represented what a Eucharistic procession is all about — drawing people from the community together to love and adore Jesus Christ in all places of the world.
All who were involved in planning the event did their work with gladness and hope that others would find this great happiness in their own adoration of Christ.
The overwhelming amount of participation and the great number of people touched by the entire event assured the Very Reverend Matthew Baum, Rector of Saint John Gualbert Cathedral, and all involved in planning the procession that they had achieved their great goal. Father Baum expressed the necessity of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in our world and that just a few moments in adoration can do wonderous things for those who participate, no matter what they may be facing in their lives. There is continued planning underway for another procession to be held next summer and great determination and hope that it will be held for many years to come.
This event is one of many events held across the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown during this time of Eucharistic Revival. The following prayer was given to all people to take home and pray daily for increased reverence of the Holy Eucharist:
“May the Heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment in all the tabernacles of the world even to the end of time. Amen.”
[Photos by Larry O’Reilly]