Despite triple digit temperatures, Catholics across the Diocese of Phoenix often endure the June heat each year to publicly display their faith in a unique way.
Corpus Christi processions are solemn walks through the surrounding church campus or neighborhood. A priest or deacon leads it by carrying a monstrance. The faithful sing and pray along the way including several stops for prayer and adoration in front of the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith. Sometimes, students who received their first Holy Communion that spring wear their finest white attire again and have a special reserved space up front.
Catholics in the Archdiocese of Australia dub their procession a Walk with Christ. This year will mark the 200th anniversary of a special time of Eucharistic Adoration in the Land Down Under.
Before the Government forcibly removed Fr. Jeremiah O’Flynn, the only Catholic priest in Australia in 1818, the priest’s last pastoral act was to leave the Blessed Sacrament reserved in a faithful Catholic’s home so that the colonists and prisoners could come to adore Christ present there. For two years, the Blessed Sacrament, in this lay Sydney home, was the source and center of worship and consolation for the priestless Catholics of the Australian colony.
Their Corpus Christi procession is June 3 and begins in a spot that World Youth Day pilgrims traveled through often just a decade ago: the Sydney CBD (Central Business District). It concludes with adoration and benediction at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
The processions are making a comeback stateside too, according to a 2017 post in the National Catholic Register. Take the following procession in Chicago, for example:
So far, we’ve noticed the following in the Diocese of Phoenix for 2018:
- 8:30 a.m. June 3 at St. Daniel the Prophet in Scottsdale — This replaces the regular 8:30 a.m. Mass. Procession concludes with the regular 10:30 a.m. Mass.
- 9 a.m. June 3 at Our Lady of Solitude Monastery in Tonopah — Girls can strew rose petals during the Procession.
- following 11 a.m. Mass June 3 at St. Thomas the Apostle in Phoenix — Procession circles the church.
- following 11 a.m. Mass June 3 at Mater Misericordiae Church in Phoenix — The Mass is also a Mass of Thanksgiving for Fr. Richard Wallace, a St. Catherine of Siena parishioner who was ordained May 26. Fr. Wallace will lead the procession.
- following 10:30 a.m. Mass, so roughly 11:45 a.m. June 3 at St. Joseph Parish in Phoenix.
Adoration for the Feast of Corpus Christi
following 8 a.m. Mass June 1 through 7 a.m. Benediction June 3 at St. James in Glendale.
8 p.m. June 1 through 7 a.m. Benediction June 2 at Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Havasu City