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Article: Seton Route stops at Seton parish on third day of Eucharistic pilgrimage in diocese

This article appeared in The Catholic Times on June 28. All photos by Ken Snow.

The third day in the diocese for the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage’s Seton Route was a special one for Father Roger Landry and Pickerington St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish.

The priest, who is serving as a chaplain on the two-month Eucharistic journey from Connecticut to Indianapolis for the National Eucharistic Congress next month, celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination at a Mass on Wednesday, June 26 at Seton Parish.

Father Landry, the Catholic chaplain at Columbia University in New York and a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, served as the principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass.

In addition to concelebrating priests from the diocese, Father Landry was also joined on the altar by Father Tad Pacholczyk, the senior ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia who also is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River celebrating the 25th anniversary of his ordination. His syndicated column, Making Sense of Bioethics, appears in The Catholic Times.   

After the Mass, Bishop Earl Fernandes offered a reflection and presented Father Landry a special papal blessing for his Silver Jubilee in recognition of his service to the Church.

A Eucharistic procession around the parish grounds and a reception followed the Mass. The evening had begun with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the church.

The Seton Route’s visit to a parish with the same patroness gave the visit added significance for parishioners and pilgrims.

“I feel very thankful and blessed that the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage has stopped here,” said Justin Stone, a member of the parish. “I’m pretty speechless about it. The Mass was awesome and the procession around the church was reverent and beautiful.

“The fact that this leg of the pilgrimage bears the name Seton and that we are Seton Parish is significant, too. It was an amazing opportunity for me, my wife, Sarah, and our 2½-year-old son, Zachary. It’s not often that your home parish has the chance to see everyone unite together for such a great celebration.”

Patti Wasserman, a member of the combined parishes of St. Michael the Archangel in Gibsonburg and St. Mary in Millersville, both in the Diocese of Toledo, traveled to Pickerington with four others who will be unable to attend the National Eucharistic Congress on July 17-21 in Indianapolis.

“We have 21 people from our two small rural communities who are going to the revival there,” she said. “I saw that the Seton Route was coming to the Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, so I knew we had to come here to be a part of it.” 

Spiwe Mavunga traveled from neighboring Reynoldsburg St. Pius X Church and said, “The Eucharistic procession reminded me of when I was in Lourdes last October, when they were carrying the monstrance under the canopy. Oh, my goodness. It draws us close to the Lord. It was marvelous.”

On Thursday morning, June 27, pilgrims and approximately 50 others joined a 1 ½-mile Eucharistic walking procession down busy Route 256 to conclude the stop in Pickerington on the way to Columbus St. Catharine Church for Eucharistic adoration in the afternoon followed by a Holy Hour and evening Mass in Spanish celebrated by Bishop Fernandes at Columbus Christ the King Church.

Taking part in the procession that ended at a shopping plaza in the Columbus suburb were three visitors from out of state who came to Pickerington to experience the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage.

Matthew Connolly of Duluth, Minnesota, said he met Christopher Doherty of Newton, New Jersey, and Emiliano Bell of Montague, New Jersey, while doing pro-life work for Good Counsel Maternity Homes in the New York-New Jersey area.

“We heard about the pilgrimage and thought that, if we couldn’t get to the beginning of it, we would try to connect somewhere down the line, which was in Philadelphia” in late May and early June, Bell said.

“I caught up with Emiliano in Philadelphia before coming here and we’re going to continue on to Indianapolis,” Connolly said. “Along the way at the stops, we’ll be promoting the Gospel of Life.”

Doherty returned home from Pickerington but plans to reconnect with Connolly and Bell in Indianapolis for the National Eucharistic Congress.

Carrying the monstrance along part of the route was Father Justin, CFR, a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Members of the religious order based in New York are actively participating in all four U.S. routes of the 48-day National Eucharistic Pilgrimage.

Father Justin shared what the community’s superior general said about the pilgrimage. “If Jesus is going to walk on this continent, in his country, He will be followed every step of the way by a gray habit (of the order) and a pair of sandals.”


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