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Day 17 — Leaving the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for the Diocese of Harrisburg

HANOVER, PA, June 3 — On its fifth day in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage made three final stops before moving westward to the Diocese of Harrisburg.

The day began with a Eucharistic procession and Mass at SS. Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester. The procession was led by pastor Father Michael Gerlach around parish grounds before some adoration in Church prior to Mass. The principal celebrant and preacher of the Mass was Father Francis Danielski, O Praem., who serves at the parish. Several hundred participated in the procession and in the Mass.

After Mass there was adoration for an hour and a half before the Seton Route Pilgrims moved on to the historic Church of St. Agnes in West Chester, founded in 1793.

Auxiliary Bishop Efren Esmilla of Philadelphia met the Blessed Sacrament when Father Roger Landry, Seton Route chaplain, exited the pilgrimage's support van with the monstrance and processed in to a packed St. Agnes Church, where Midday Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours was recited.

After the short reading, pastor Father Louis Bellopede gave a homily on the importance of the Eucharistic Revival to revivify a vibrant awareness of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and to help people center their lives on Jesus. Bishop Esmilla likewise gave a fervorino and sung a prayer for the success of the Eucharistic Revival in increasing love of Jesus. After the bishop imparted Benediction, he brought the Blessed Sacrament to the front of the Church and handed the monstrance to Father Landry, who brought into the van.

The Eucharistic Pilgrimage traveled next to Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Parkesburg, which is the western-most parish in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where pastor Father Sean O'Neill met the Blessed Sacrament and with Father Landry exposed the Monstrance for 90 minutes of adoration before Father O'Neill imparted Benediction and Father Landry processed the monstrance to the support van.

Then the pilgrims crossed the border into the Diocese of Harrisburg and traveled 90 minutes to Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in New Oxford. Along the way, they read together from Catherine O'Donnell's biography of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and prayed Vespers.

After arriving at Immaculate Conception, pastor Father Keith Carroll met the Blessed Sacrament and accompanied Father Landry as he transported Jesus to the altar, after which there were two hours of adoration before a bilingual Votive Mass of the Holy Eucharist celebrated and preached by Father Carroll. In his homily, Father Carroll focused on how Jesus always provides the food we need, as he does spiritually in the Holy Eucharist.

At the conclusion of Mass, Father Carroll exposed the Blessed Sacrament and incensed the Lord before beginning a period of all night adoration through 7:45 am the following morning.


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