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Day 11: Pilgrimage through Metuchen and Trenton

TRENTON, NJ, May 28 — The eleventh day of the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage began at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen, New Jersey with a hearty breakfast offered by the Cathedral's Knights of Columbus council for the hundreds who would be making a pilgrimage that day across the Diocese.

After breakfast, there was a solemn Eucharistic procession to the Metuchen line. The Blessed Sacrament was carried by Father Tim Christy in the presence of Bishop James Checchio. It finished at Memorial Park, where Fr. Christy imparted Eucharistic Benediction.

From there, the pilgrimage continued in a simpler fashion to St. Peter the Apostle Church in New Brunswick, the oldest Church in the Diocese of Metuchen, right next to the campus of Rutgers. There was Mass at 11 am celebrated by Fr. Jason Pavich, administrator of the parish, and preached by Fr. Pierre Toussaint Guiteau, CFR, who is a chaplain to the Seton route during the second week.

After lunch for the several hundred pilgrims, the journey continued another six miles to St. Augustine of Canterbury Church in Kendall Park, where, upon arrival, there was Eucharistic adoration as an early dinner was provided by the parish.

Father Roger Landry gave a reflection entitled, "The Eucharistic Path to Holiness," and imparted Benediction. After Benediction, Fr. Jay Toborowski, Vicar General of the Diocese of Metuchen, gave words of thanks to God for the Pilgrimage's time in the Diocese of Metuchen and Msgr. Thomas Gervasio, Vicar General of the Diocese of Trenton, gave some welcoming words as the Pilgrimage prepared to enter the Diocese of Trenton.

Father Landry then processed out with the Blessed Sacrament to the Eucharistic Pilgrimage's support van in the midst of a Knights of Columbus fourth degree color guard and bag pipers from the Kendall Park police.

When the Pilgrimage arrived at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Trenton, more than 100 faithful were there to meet the van with music, cheers and enthusiasm. Bishop David O'Connell, CM, Bishop of Trenton, received the Blessed Sacrament and held the Eucharistic Jesus for a few minutes for the adoration of the faithful before giving the Blessed Sacrament to Msgr. Joseph Roldán, rector of the Cathedral, to process into St. Mary's.

After a brief period of adoration, there was Mass, celebrated in Spanish by Msgr. Roldán, with Bishop O'Connell presiding in cope. The enormous Cathedral was packed with nearly 1000 faithful. During his homily, Msgr. Roldán gave an apologetic for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist based on the Bread of Life discourse in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of St. John.

After the Mass, there was a solemn candlelight Eucharistic procession around the outside block on which the Cathedral rests in which dozens of servers, young girls holding candles, ten priests and hundreds of faithful participated. As the Blessed Sacrament was leaving the Cathedral and returning, there were fireworks. Once returned to the Church, there was solemn benediction.

[You can watch the arrival, the Mass, and the procession in the video below.]

Altogether the pilgrims walked with the Blessed Sacrament 17 miles during the day.

Here are some photos of the day:

Here are some photos from the day taken by Jerry Wutkowski of the Office of Communications and Public Relations of the Diocese of Metuchen.


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