Two parishes welcomed Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., to celebrate Mass on Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus. In the Diocese of Trenton, as in all dioceses throughout the country, the feast also marked the start of the second year of the National Eucharistic Revival.
Bishop stresses need for Eucharistic Revival during parish visits
“The Revival intends to bring all Catholics closer the Lord Jesus through direct contact and encounter with him in the Eucharist,” Bishop O’Connell said in his homily during the June 10 Vigil Mass in St. Anthony of Padua Church, Hightstown, and the following day, June 11, in Holy Eucharist Church, Tabernacle.
PHOTO GALLERY: To view photos of Corpus Christi celebrations taking place around the Diocese, click here.
PHOTO GALLERY: The Corpus Christi Mass in St. Anthony of Padua Church, Hightstown
PHOTO GALLERY: The Corpus Christi Mass in Holy Eucharist Church, Tabernacle
The Bishop said it is the hope that the faithful in all 97 parishes in the Diocese “will develop a deeper and more profound understanding and appreciation of the gift and mystery of the Holy Eucharist through active participation in prayer, adoration and devotion to the Real Presence of the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in our churches and through a personal transformation that leads us to bring Christ’s loving presence into our communities.”
During the Parish Year of the Revival, which runs from June 11, 2023 to July 17, 2024, parishes are encouraged to hold events that allow their faithful to have a deeper encounter with Christ. Increasing opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration and adult faith formation offerings on the Eucharist are among the suggestions parishes can consider making available.
In St. Anthony of Padua Parish, the feast of Corpus Christi and the start of the second year of the Revival was commemorated by having Bishop O'Connell bless the tabernacle, which had been moved from the chapel that's located at the side of the church, to the center of the sanctuary. The relocation, said Father Sumanga, was a request made by the parishioners.
“They wanted the tabernacle to be the focal point of the sanctuary,” he said.
“The people have an intimate connection with the Blessed Sacrament, the Real Presence of Jesus,” Father Sumanga said, extending appreciation to the Bishop for his willingness to bless the tabernacle on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
“The tabernacle is where Jesus is, and this day connects the love our people have for Jesus in the Eucharist,” he said.
Holy Eucharist Church was nearly filled with parishioners who came to celebrate their parish’s feast day Mass with Bishop O’Connell and to participate in an outdoor Eucharistic procession around the sprawling campus of the southern Burlington County parish. The monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament was carried in the procession by Father Andrew Jamieson, pastor.
“This was so moving, and I felt so touched,” Joanne Hurd, a parishioner for 20 years, said of the celebration. She added how heartening it was to know that all parishes in the country had been encouraged to inaugurate the second year of the Eucharistic Revival by holding Eucharistic processions.
Parishioner Carole Pulaski said she thought the Feast of Corpus Christi “should be celebrated all of the time because of how important it is to celebrate the special presence of Jesus.”
Pulaski noted that the Mass and celebration that followed also marked the farewell for Father Jamieson, who will retire July 1, having served as pastor for more than 20 years, and to welcome the new pastor, Father Michael McClane, who concelebrated the Mass.
“And to have the Bishop here for our Feast day was the icing on the cake,” Pulaski added. “God has been so good to us.”