Father Charles Schwartz, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, bows to the Blessed Sacrament placed before a statue of the Pieta while parishioner Joe Young holds the umbrulino. Photo courtesy of Donna Pointkouski
Father Charles Schwartz, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, bows to the Blessed Sacrament placed before a statue of the Pieta while parishioner Joe Young holds the umbrulino. Photo courtesy of Donna Pointkouski

To give a public witness to the faith in celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, congregants and clergy of Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton, held a Eucharistic Procession June 25 following the evening vigil Mass.

“It was certainly a grace-filled moment of our church,” said Father Charles Schwartz, Sacred Heart pastor, “and a good way to celebrate the Year of Eucharistic Revival as well as our parish’s patronal feast.” It was the first time in many years that the parish has held such an event, he noted.

The procession, led by altar servers and recent First Communicants strewing rose petals, included the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Daughters of America, the parish choir, members of other parish ministries and parishioners of all ages.

The procession was led in songs of worship and had two stations for Adoration – one at the Pieta statue in front of the parish’s Family Center, and the second near the rectory in a garden dedicated to the Blessed Mother. Deacons Michael Stinsman and Robert Bednarek assisted and carried the monstrance with Father Schwartz along the route.

Altar server Grace Ehrhardt, age 11, rang the liturgical bells to alert others that the procession was approaching. "I thought it was great, a huge day for our church,” she said. “It was an unforgettable experience and the perfect Feast Day celebration!"

Ashling Ehrhardt, Grace’s mother, added that it was wonderful to see children take part. “The Eucharist is the most amazing gift we have – we need to celebrate that more!” she said.

Deacon Stinsman said he was blessed to be invited to carry the Blessed Sacrament. He said that at age 15 he was called into the Catholic Church when he attended Mass and he “felt God’s presence at the elevation of the host.” He hoped that this Eucharistic Revival might touch others in the same way.

Knight of Columbus Bob Schumann said that the Knights of St. Joseph Council No. 1984 were honored to participate. He said he would like to see this tradition continue, “especially today with the direction the world is heading. It is great to see so many Christians outwardly demonstrating their faith.” 

Parishioner Elizabeth Rischar called the event “a very powerful shared experience of living our Catholic faith and proudly proclaiming to the world – our neighborhood – our deep and abiding love for God.”