Jun 8, 2014

Hundreds gather for Eucharistic Rosary Procession



Story and photos by David Martin

NORTHAMPTON-More than 600 people from throughout the four corners of the Diocese of Springfield  participated in the 12th annual  Eucharistic Rosary Procession, here, June 8. Participants gathered at  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish at 2 p.m. for song and prayer before beginning the rosary procession. Father Sean O’Mannion, pastor of Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishes in Holyoke, said it was appropriate that this annual event took place on Pentecost Sunday because there were people present from different places such as Vietnam, Africa and Latin America.

“To have the birthday of the worldwide, institutional Catholic, universal church and to have a celebration of the sacraments that the Holy Mother Church gives us are just a great thing,” said Father O’Mannion.

Participants including Father O’Mannion lined up outside the church as they prayed the rosary and began the eucharistic procession through the neighborhood that would lead them down the main street of Northampton. Yves Jacques, a parishioner of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in Turners Falls said participating in the event reminded him that Jesus is always present in the Eucharist and the rays shining from the Eucharist touched everyone. Jacques said he remembered while praying the rosary during the procession that he saw people on their knees or making the sign of the cross as the participants passed in prayer. He said that Jesus brought people toward the procession and the people were drawn in and started joining the procession. Those joing  were welcomed with rosary beads.

“There are a lot of good people in western Massachusetts and they have maybe forgotten their roots, but deep inside they love the Blessed Mother and church, but they are just on the sidelines. What I saw today they are not on the sidelines when we go to the public square. We just have to continue witnessing,” said Jacques.

Jacques said it was encouraging to see all the young families participating with their children because this gives great witness to the future of the church. The procession made its way back to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. The eucharistic procession this year was dedicated in honor of the canonization of Sts. Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Those who were present had the opportunity to venerate relics of the recently-canonized saints. The relics were the slippers of St. John XXIII and a cloth used during Mass by St. John Paul II.

Jacques said this was a great honor for him and explained that relics are venerated by those who wish to obtain special intentions or cures for family members.

“Hopefully we will have people say that they obtained special graces. We hope and pray that St. Pope John Paul the Great continues to touch people because many people were healed in his lifetime but many people were also healed afterwards,” said Jacques.

A reception took place later in the parish hall.