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Processions mark special solemnity

Three parishes will continue their traditions of eucharistic processions to celebrate the May 29 Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) – publicly displaying Catholic devotion to the holy Eucharist.

Archbishop George J. Lucas will be among those leading the procession at St. Gerald Parish in Omaha, May 28 at 6:30 p.m., said Father Owen Korte, pastor. The fifth annual procession begins with exposition of the Eucharist at the parish’s Lakeview Chapel in Ralston.

St. Peter Parish in Omaha will hold its 11th annual procession May 29, beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, also in Omaha, and ending at St. Peter Church at 5:30 p.m., said Father John Broheimer, pastor of St. Peter.

And Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk will hold its sixth annual procession May 29 at 2 p.m., said Karl Henkel, liturgy coordinator.

St. Gerald’s one-mile route runs through the residential neighborhood, Father Korte said, where people in four homes along the way decorate altars at which the procession will stop for benedictions. The procession ends at the chapel with a closing benediction.

"This harkens back to a different age when people were not afraid to take their faith out on the road and expose it to others," he said. "I believe it’s important to do everything we can to raise up our belief in Jesus in the holy Eucharist."

The St. Peter procession will take a 1¼ mile route through Hanscom Park where the procession will stop at two altars for benedictions – one of which will be in Spanish – and then on to St. Peter Church for a third benediction, Father Broheimer said.

Fireworks will be set off as the procession approaches St. Peter’s, he said, and rose pedals will be showered on everyone from above as people enter the church.

"This marvelous, time-honored tradition of honoring the Eucharist with a full procession, to come together publicly to witness to our faith; it makes our faith in the Eucharist grow," Father Broheimer said.

In Norfolk, the procession begins at Sacred Heart Church, taking a 1½ mile route including two stops for benedictions, and ending with a talk, music and benediction at St. Mary Church, Henkel said.

"It is a bilingual event, since that is who we are," he said. "We begin the procession at the conclusion of the Spanish Mass. All the prayers go back and forth between Spanish and English."

All three processions will include numerous parish groups, including this year’s first Communion classes, and transportation will be available for anyone with difficulty walking.

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