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Article: A Joyous Time Shared With The Lord

By Kathy Ann Gobin

Fairfield County Catholic

May 22, 2024

An original version of this article appeared in Fairfield County Catholic.

RIDGEFIELD – The joy of walking with Jesus Christ was palpable as hundreds of faithful processed through downtown Ridgefield as part of the first-ever National Eucharistic Pilgrimage.

“We are accompanying the Lord across the country so that we can bring Jesus to others,” said Fr. Roger Landry during his homily at St. Mary Parish on Catoonah Street before leading the faithful on their journey through town.

“Jesus remains in the world so His joy may be in us today,” he said. “How can we who have encountered this joy not want to share it with others? We know that life with Jesus is so much richer.”

Fr. Landry, a priest from the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, is one of dozens of people shepherding the Blessed Sacrament on the Eucharistic Procession to Indiana. There are four routes, one each from the East, West, North and South that when they meet in Indianapolis, form a cross on a map of the United States. The cross-country journey will culminate with the 10th National Eucharistic Congress – the first in 83 years.

Fr. Landry said reinvigorating worship, one of the four pillars of the National Eucharistic Revival, is exemplified in the life of Mary.

“Our Lady teaches us truly how to be pilgrims of the Eucharist,” said Fr. Landry adding that Mary shows us how to pray and live the Mass, how to unite our whole life to what her son is doing and wants to help us increase in reverence and our personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

“Mary shows us how to encounter her son, how to love the Lord,” Fr. Landry said. “The way we spell love is T-I-M-E, to make time for the Lord.”

Hundreds of people, including St. Mary Parishioner, Michele Masi, did just that.

“I took a half-day off from work today to be here,” Masi said. “I wanted to make sure I could make it.”

“I think it’s very important for our faith,” she said, of the public procession with the Blessed Sacrament.

The procession followed a Holy Hour of adoration. As the faithful left the church, some with lit candles, they walked along Main Street to Ballard Park reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Rose petals were tossed on the ground before the monstrance as it was carried and led the faithful to the park for public prayer.

“If we have faith, it makes it so much easier to accept the things that go on and happen in our lives and in the world,” Masi said. “The more faith in the world the better.”

Indeed, the desire to be a part of something so meaningful and momentous in the life of the Church drew many people to participate in the Eucharistic Procession in Ridgefield.

“The world is going in the wrong direction anything we can do to change that is important,” said John Carson of Bedford, New York in reference to the procession bringing awareness to others.

“It is so impressive,” he said of the turnout. “It warms my heart.”

It touched the hearts of others too, as park-goers and other onlookers stopped to watch the procession and some inquired about what was happening.

“It seems very beautiful,” said a woman who was walking with her children in the park. “I love the community of it. I think that is missing in our world today.”

The faithful welcomed opportunities to share their love of the Lord.

“Jesus wanted to come to the streets of Ridgefield,” said St. Mary Parishioner, Pauline MacDonald. “The Eucharist is God’s love and he is not far from us. God is not far from his people; he can come to you.”

The Eucharistic Procession continued at Assumption Parish in Westport.


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