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Article and Video: A mile of spiritual renewal walked in Weirton for the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage

This report by Colin Roose appeared on WTRF on June 20.

WEIRTON, W.Va. (WTRF) — It was called a walk with Jesus along the streets of Weirton.

Catholics in America are renewing their belief in their most sacred tradition, in what they call a journey not just of thousands of miles, but of a rediscovery of God’s love.

If you want to understand the devotion of Christians to their faith, just look to the center of the monstrance.

It contains what Roman Catholics believe to be the actual body of Christ, after normal bread is blessed in the sacrament of communion.

For the church, it’s God’s sacrifice for the world in physical form.

But it’s one that many of the faithful themselves don’t fully realize, so the church is delivering the message—step by step.

“Body, blood, soul and divinity looks like bread, looks like wine. But it’s truly his presence. That’s what we believe.”Fr. Dennis Schuelkens, Pastor, Sacred Heart of Mary and St. Joseph the Workernormal

Preachers on the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage are on a 60-day mission from New Haven, Connecticut all the way to Indianapolis.

Carrying the monstrance and singing the entire way, they hope to inspire wonder for the sacrament to those outside the faith, and rekindle devotion for those within it.

Weirton is the exact halfway point on their travels, where they invited Catholics to join them from St. Joseph the Worker Parish to Sacred Heart of Mary.

The mile trip was a muggy one, but the procession says they’ve worshipped in higher temperatures and further distances.

“Some days we’ve walked in 95 degree weather, sunshine for 17 miles. Our longest journey was 19 miles, but we’ve done north of 15 several times so far.” Fr. Roger J. Landry, National Eucharistic Pilgrimage

And even in the draining heat, they say the enthusiasm of the faithful is energizing.

In a time when millions had lost sight of why they kneel, those same millions are rediscovering the limitless love held in eight words: “This is my body given up for you.”

“Every human heart kind of yearns for God and they ask the question, ‘Why doesn’t God just come to us?’ And 2000 years ago he did in the Person of Jesus Christ. And Jesus wanted to make sure that his presence was with us always.” Fr. Dennis Schuelkens, Pastor, Sacred Heart of Mary and St. Joseph the Worker

The Perpetual Pilgrims still have another month before they reach Indianapolis.

Tomorrow they will cross the Ohio River for a weekend in Steubenville, before the spiritual revival makes its way down the river to Bellaire.


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