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Article: Blessed Sacrament Arrives At St. Thomas Aquinas


By Emily Clark

Fairfield County Catholic


This article originally appeared in the Fairfield County Catholic. The photos come from that original article.


Dozens of students stood in the glorious sunshine along Route 1 in Fairfield early Monday afternoon, lining the sidewalks and waiting, patiently, expectantly, for Jesus to arrive. On the second day of the Eucharistic Procession, the Blessed Sacrament was transferred five miles down the road from Assumption Church in Fairfield to St. Thomas Aquinas as these children from the parish school witnessed what some called a once in a lifetime experience.


Seventh grade choir members Eviana Haddad, Olivia Stern, and Michaela Andreasson said this was a moment that deserved the most respect. “I’m nervous and excited for the Body of Christ to come in the monstrance,” said Eviana. “It’s a great opportunity for our school, and we’re lucky to see it.”


While these girls and their classmates waited outside, altar server Michael Coma and his younger brother Nicholas were preparing for the Holy Hour in the sacristy. “It’s an honor to be here in the presence of Jesus,” said Michael, who planned to carry the cross. His brother agreed, saying, “It means God is here physically for his people, and we feel closer to him.”


As Fr. Roger Landry, a priest from the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, carried the Eucharist across the sidewalk and up the steps of the church, an altar server incensed the monstrance while the onlookers remained silent and in awe of the procession. Once inside, the hymns began. Students and their teachers filed in, with this year’s First Communicants wearing their suits and white dresses and the older children their ties and plaid jumpers. They fingered the rosaries, taking inquisitive looks from the monstrance to the choir and back again, many sitting with praying hands throughout the procession. Parishioners and guests occupied the remaining pews, filling the church.


“We are grateful the Lord has come to spend time with us,” Fr. David Roman said, addressing the students. “As you genuflect, be reverent and remember what a great gift you have in Jesus.”



When Fr. Landry arrived at St. Thomas with several young adults and religious sisters as traveling pilgrims, he was one of 24 people walking for 65 days to Indiana, part of what he called a three year plan to help the faithful grow in hope, love, amazement, and gratitude for Jesus. This plan, he added, was prompted by a significant crisis in the church.


“Only three in 10 Catholics say they truly believe that the bread and wine totally change into Jesus at Mass. Yes, this is the same Jesus who was in Mary’s womb, the same Jesus who was carried in Joseph’s arms; the same Jesus who rose from the dead,” said Fr. Landry, the only priest walking a full route on this National Eucharistic Pilgrimage. “We’re trying to help every Catholic take his gift to other people. We want people to know Jesus is here for them.”


Asking if anyone wondered why he would walk the streets for so long when Jesus is everywhere, Fr. Landry reminded those in attendance that Jesus never said to stay in one place. “We’re told ‘come to me, I will refresh you’ and ‘Go! Proclaim the Gospel to all creatures.’ We are trying to follow Jesus to Heaven,” he added. “He’s with us and we never want to spend a day without him.”


Following Fr. Landry’s reflections, the choir continued to sing, filling the church with the beautiful sounds of such songs as “Bread of Life” before a student led the congregation in the five decades of the joyful mysteries. Once the Holy Hour and procession at St. Thomas concluded, the Blessed Sacrament was moved to Saint Cyril and Methodius in Bridgeport for Adoration, before continuing on to Saint Mary’s Parish in Ridgefield.

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