Public praise, adoration offered at Corpus Christi processions in diocese

Priests from the Peoria and Pekin vicariates, including Father Patrick Henehan carrying the Blessed Sacrament beneath a canopy, leard 150 participants in a Corpus Christi procession across the grounds of the motherhouse of The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in East Peoria on June 18. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Hundreds of Catholics in the Diocese of Peoria joined in public demonstrations of their love for Jesus in the Eucharist during several Corpus Christi processions hosted by parishes and institutions on June 18, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Sister Marion Hudackova, FSJB, gives the Scripture reading at the first altar at the Franciscan motherhouse. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

This year, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, gave enhanced significance to the annual procession hosted by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis at their East Peoria motherhouse. The procession ended with special prayers for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life in the motherhouse chapel.

“What more meaningful way to celebrate Father’s Day than to honor the best Father of all, God our Father, and to do that by lifting up his Son in praise and adoration,” said Sister Judith Ann Duvall, OSF, major superior of the The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, in welcoming remarks to the nearly 150 participants. The Blessed Sacrament was then carried from the motherhouse chapel for adoration at a series of outdoor altars set up on the grounds. Priests carrying the monstrance beneath a canopy included Father Alex Millar, Father Patrick Henehan, Father James Pankiewicz and Msgr. Rick Oberch.

Additional photos from the East Peoria procession are posted on The Catholic Post’s site on Facebook. Photos from Corpus Christi processions in Bloomington, LaSalle, and Rock Island appeared in the July 2 issue of The Catholic Post.


Father Gregory Nelson takes Jesus into the neighborhood around St. Mary Church on June 18. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

After a morning of being nourished by the Word of God and the body and blood of Christ, members of St. Mary Parish in Bloomington returned to take Jesus into their community for a Corpus Christi procession on Sunday, June 18. .

More than 100 people followed the Blessed Sacrament, displayed in a monstrance, to the homes of parishioners Jair and Angelica Patiño, Teresita Almanza, and Julian and Maria Lopez, who had set up altars on their front lawns. At each location, the pilgrims recited portions of the Litany of the Holy Eucharist from the diary of St. Faustina, and sang a song, aided by parish musicians. One was in English and one was in Latin, with the final song sung in Spanish.

Each visit ended with Benediction.

As they walked through the neighborhoods surrounding St. Mary Church, the pilgrims prayed the rosary in English and Spanish.

Taking turns carrying the monstrance under a white and yellow canopy were Father Gregory Nelson, pastor; Deacon Antonio Herrera and Deacon Loren Keim; and Father Joseph Baker, parochial vicar. Father Baker led Benediction and the Divine Praises when the pilgrims returned to church.

He told The Catholic Post it was the first Corpus Christi procession at St. Mary in several years and parishioners said they enjoyed it.

“I don’t think I could have asked for it to go any better,” Father Baker said.

Elsewhere in the diocese:

  • A Corpus Christi procession in LaSalle on June 18 drew more than 250 participants as it moved from St. Hyacinth Church to St. Patrick Church and then to Holy Rosary Shrine. Father Jacob Valle, parochial vicar of the LaSalle Catholic Parishes, carried the Blessed Sacrament.
  • In Rock Island, 130 people joined a procession for the six blocks between Sacred Heart and St. Mary churches. “It was just beautiful walking with our Eucharistic Lord,” said Father Anthony Co. In his homily at a Mass at St. Mary after the procession, he said that how we relate to the Blessed Sacrament . . . is how we love Jesus, because it is Jesus.”


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