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Day 15 — Jesus, St. John Neumann and Kensington

PHILADELPHIA, June 1 — The third week of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage's Seton Route began with breakfast offered by the Sisters of Life Visitation Mission, which works out of the Convent of St. Malachy Parish in Philadelphia.

Following breakfast there was morning prayer led by Philadelphia auxiliary bishop John McIntyre and a period of Eucharistic adoration followed by benediction in St. Malachy Church.

Next was a Mass at the Redemptorist Church of St. Peter the Apostle, built over the Shrine of St. John Neumann, CSSR, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia (1811-1860).

The Mass was celebrated and preached by pilgrim Father Pierre Toussaint Guiteau, CFR, who wove in the readings from Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, with the feast of second-century St. Justin Martyr and St. John Neumann, focusing on how Jesus in the Gospel, St. Justin and St. John Neumann all experienced considerable opposition but did not let it deter them.

After Mass, the pilgrims were treated to a Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich by Father Stephen DeLacy, Archdiocesan Vicar for Faith Formation with Youth and Young Adults. Prior to ordering, Father DeLacy taught pilgrims how to order a cheesesteak sandwich properly, indicating first what cheese you'd like ("American," or "Provolone") and whether you'd want onions ("wit" or "wit-out"). Thanks to the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Healing Love for capturing part of this important training!

From there, the pilgrims participated in a Eucharistic procession through one of the pooret sections of Philadelphia, Kensington, which has the reputation for being where the opioid epidemic is at its worst. The Eucharistic procession was organized by Mission Youth, an initiative of Regnum Christi. Those processing sought to evangelize people on both sides of the road as they journeyed underneath the elevated subway. Pilgrims passed many people on the streets.

Later in the afternoon, the pilgrims returned to St. Peter the Apostle Church for a Eucharistic Holy Hour and Vespers service during which Seton Route chaplain Father Roger Landry preached a homily on the reading from Vespers (1 Cor 11:23-26), integrating it what Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the apparitions of the Sacred Heart 350 years ago (between Dec. 27, 1673 and June 16, 1675), with a story of St. Kateri Tekakwitha about what is most pleasing to God, and finally with Jesus' words to the Good Thief.

After the Holy Hour there was a dinner and open microphone (talent show) night with the young adults of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the St. John Neumann Center. Among the acts that performed was a duet by Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson Perez on guitar and Seton pilgrim Zoe Dongas on vocals, with pilgrim Marina Frattaroli holding music for the Archbishop.

These photos were taken by Sarah Webb of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

@JackFigge from @PillarCatholic has posted often on Twitter through the various stops in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In this post, he captures the end of the duet featuring Archbishop Perez and Zoe Dongas.


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