Emmaus Procession will take Jesus to the streets of the Quad Cities on Oct. 7
CORRECTION: In the print edition of The Catholic Post, the ending location for the Emmaus Procession was listed as Our Lady of Victory Church in Bettendorf, Iowa. In fact, it is Our Lady of Lourdes Church. The Catholic Post regrets the error.
It didn’t take long after the Emmaus Procession through the Quad Cities ended last year for organizers to know that they would be offering it again. This year’s journey is planned for Saturday, Oct. 7, and will take pilgrims from Sacred Heart in Moline to Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf, Iowa.
The opening Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Louis Tylka at 8 a.m. Then people will accompany Jesus in the monstrance for about 3.5 miles, stopping at St. Mary in Moline for prayer along the way.
Lead organizer Taryn Watkins of West Peoria said she hopes they’ll be able to cross the Mississippi River at the new Interstate 74 Bridge.
“I’m hoping that the shorter route will make it a little more possible for people to join in,” she told The Catholic Post. Last year’s pilgrimage was 5 miles and took nearly 1,000 people from Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport to St. Mary in Moline.
“We’re hoping for more people,” said Watkins, a consecrated virgin who teaches art at St. Philomena School and Chesterton Academy of the Sacred Heart, both in Peoria. “My hope, my prayer is last year, 1,000; this year, 2,000; the year after 2,500. We’ll see what the Lord has to say about that.”
She said a shuttle would be following the procession again this year for those who aren’t able to walk the entire distance. Even if people can’t join the procession, Watkins encouraged them to come for the Mass at Sacred Heart in Moline or Benediction at Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf.
“That prayerful presence is actually quite essential to what we’re doing,” she said.
“We heard so many stories last year – spiritual conversions, healings,” according to Watkins. “A man saw us walking by his house, came out and asked one of our teammates, ‘What’s going on?’ She gave a very brief explanation and he was so moved by it he said, ‘Let me get my shoes on’ and joined us.”
“A man saw us walking by his house, came out and asked one of our teammates, ‘What’s going on?’ She gave a very brief explanation and he was so moved by it he said, ‘Let me get my shoes on’ and joined us.” — Taryn Watkins
“I just think that’s so beautiful. He saw God walking by. That’s how Jesus called his disciples, walking by. They saw him and were drawn to him,” Watkins said.
Those who would like to participate are asked to park at Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf and take a shuttle to Sacred Heart in Moline. Those shuttles will start running between 6:45 and 7 a.m. and Watkins asked people to consider getting an early start to accommodate everyone.
While physical preparation is important, spiritual preparation may be more important, Watkins said. She suggested living out the faith in a joyful, exciting way, practicing reverence at Mass, and “increasing our eucharistic devotion in the little ways that we can.”
The goal is simple.
“That the Lord would be loved more and more,” Watkins said.
More details will be made available as they are finalized.