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Article: Pilgrimage draws 1,200 to Westerville St. Paul

We thank the team at The Catholic Times for their great coverage of the Seton Route's stops in the Diocese of Columbus. This article appeared on July 5, 2024.



he National Eucharistic Pilgrimage’s Seton Route came to Westerville St. Paul the Apostle Church on the next-to-last day of its weeklong visit through the diocese for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a Mass celebrated on the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul and a Eucharistic procession around the campus.


Afterward, a vocations fair was held in the Klinger Center adjacent to the diocese’s largest church.


A large congregation estimated at 1,200 attended the Mass on the solemnity of the parish’s patron with Bishop Earl Fernandes as the principal celebrant. He was joined by Father Roger Landry, a chaplain traveling with the pilgrims on the Seton Route from Connecticut to Indianapolis, and nine other priests on the altar.


Father Landry and several perpetual pilgrims presented talks during the morning, which began with Adoration.


“The Eucharistic Procession on our parish grounds was a profound experience,” said Father Jonathan Wilson, the parish’s pastor, in a social media post. “The presence of the Seton Route Perpetual Pilgrims and participation from our parish and beyond made this historic day truly special.”


Six lay pilgrims, two priests and four sisters are traveling the entire distance of the Seton Route, which started in May in Connecticut and ends in Indianapolis with the National Eucharistic Congress on July 17-21. Three others routes that are part of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage started in the west, south and north regions of the United States.


Assisting the priests and deacons on the altar were members of the Knights of the Holy Temple, a group of young men at the parish who are dedicated to reverently serving for Masses and other liturgical events.


“We've done Eucharistic processions here before, but nothing of this magnitude and you could definitely feel the gravity of it and just how it affected people,” said Jacob Reash, one of the servers. “I looked back one time (during the procession) and seeing everybody following it was just a witness of faith and such a cool experience for everybody.


“We've had (processions) at Corpus Christi before, but this one was definitely something different and special for sure.”


Love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament was evident during the morning visit of National Eucharistic Procession, which is part of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ three-year National Eucharistic Revival campaign to enliven belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the ucharist.


“It was such a cool witness of faith to see all the people show up, said Isaac Reash, another server with the Knights of the Holy Temple. “And just the magnitude of the responses … it really did feel like Christ was present. … It did strengthen the belief in the True Presence of Christ.”

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