Eucharistic processions blossom in spring rain

Father Steven Reeves, pastor of St. Monica Church in Bardstown, Ky., knelt before the Eucharist during a eucharistic procession June 11. (Photo Special to The Record by Sandy Lyvers Photography)

Catholics around the Archdiocese of Louisville took the Eucharist into their communities in celebration of Corpus Christi, the June 11 solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Spotty rain showers and threats of severe weather popped up throughout the day, but Catholics persevered to celebrate the Eucharist.

The Bardstown, Ky., area drew more than 300 people representing parishes in Nelson County for a eucharistic procession. 

Father Steven Reeves, pastor of St. Monica Church in Bardstown, Ky., carried the monstrance during a eucharistic procession in the area June 11. (Photo Special to The Record by Sandy Lyvers Photography)

Clergy led the procession from the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral down West Stephen Foster Avenue to the town square under a sprinkling rain, said Father Matthew Hardesty, pastor of St. Catherine Church in New Haven, Ky; Immaculate Conception Church in Culvertown, Ky.; and St. Vincent de Paul Church in New Hope, Ky. 

“We feared the rain would intensify. But, by the time we arrived at the first station on the northwest corner of the square, the rain had stopped. Father Steven Reeves, exclaimed, ‘We took the Lord to the storm!’ ”

After the procession, participants gathered for a reception and cookout provided by the Knights of Columbus. 

Catholics, including members of St. Monica Church, took part in a eucharistic procession in Bardstown, Ky., June 11. (Photo Special to The Record by Sandy Lyvers Photography)

“Everyone at the reception was overjoyed at how nice the weather became, how beautiful the procession was, and how encouraging it was to see such a large turnout,” Father Hardesty said. “Several older folks told me it reminded them of their childhood. And many of the young families insisted that we should do this every year.”

Washington County parishes also gathered to celebrate Corpus Christi on June 11. About 225 Catholics from around the county gathered for adoration at St. Dominic Church in Springfield, Ky. Angela Young, the parish’s director of religious education, said the event was organized by the Springfield Knights of Columbus, Brother Christopher Council 4270.

Worshipers from around Washington County, Ky., filled St. Dominic Church in Springfield, Ky., for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on June 11. (Photo Special to The Record)

The Archdiocese of Louisville had planned an archdiocesan-wide procession through downtown Louisville, but it was moved indoors under the threat of severe weather. Hundreds of people from around the archdiocese who attended the 5:30 p.m. Mass with Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre participated in the indoor procession.

In addition to the regional gatherings, parishes also hosted processions on or around Corpus Christi. Ascension Church, located near Hikes Point in Louisville, processed through the residential neighborhood surrounding the parish on June 11, stopping in driveways and along sidewalks for prayer.

A Corpus Christi Procession departed Ascension Church on June 11. Accompanied by parishioners, Father Adam Carrico, pastor, carried the Eucharist into the parish neighborhood. (Photo Special to The Record)

The Archdiocese of Louisville and the Catholic Church in the United States have intentionally increased devotion to the Eucharist lately, hosting eucharistic devotions and offering catechesis on the Eucharist. These efforts are part of the three-year National Eucharistic Revival, a movement that aims to promote devotion to and understanding of the Eucharist. The first year was the diocesan phase. The initiative began its second year June 11, centered on eucharistic revival in parishes.

A Corpus Christi Procession passed by the Bardstown, Ky., City Hall on June 11. Parishes in Nelson County and the surrounding region gathered about 300 people to process around the town from the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral. (Photo Special to The Record by Sandy Lyvers Photography)
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