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Day 18 — Walking with Jesus through the Adams Deanery

HANOVER, PA — On June 4, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage Seton Route, accompanied by hundreds of local faithful, journeyed through the Adams Deanery in the southern part of the Diocese of Harrisburg.

The day began with Mass at Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in New Oxford, where all night adoration of the Blessed Sacrament had taken place. Pilgrim Fr. Michenangelo Best, CFR, who was ordained a priest on May 24 by Cardinal Timothy Dolan at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, preached the Mass on his tenth day as a priest during a Votive Mass of the Holy Eucharist. He examined the mystery of the Holy Eucharist under three angles: presence, sacrifice and union. The Church was standing room only.

After Mass and a hearty breakfast offered by parish volunteers, there was a three-leg Church Eucharistic Procession. The first leg was from Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in New Oxford to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hanover. The pastor of Immaculate Conception, Father Keith Carroll and Fr. Michelangelo, CFR, carried the Blessed Sacrament over the two hour journey.

At Sacred Heart Basilica, pastor Father Dwight Schlaline welcomed pilgrims to the Basilica for 90 minutes of Eucharistic Adoration, beginning the prayer with the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Jesuits had established a missionary post in the Conewago region around the present Basilica in 1637, with the first priest assigned in 1719. By 1730, there was a Church, and by 1784, with more than 1,000 members, the parish was the largest in the United States. The present Church was begun in 1785 and completed in 1787, the first Church in the United States dedicated to the Sacred Heart. It remains the oldest stone Catholic Church in the country.

After adoration, lunch and a Eucharistic benediction by Father Schlaline, the procession set out for a 90-minute trek to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Hanover, where pastor Father Michael Reid, II, welcomed the Blessed Sacrament and pilgrims to an already full church with faithful for a half-hour of adoration before he imparted Eucharistic Benediction. There pilgrim Marina Frattaroli filmed a short reflection for the Diocese.

After a 90 minute procession, during which Seton Route Chaplain Father Roger Landry and several priests of the Diocese of Harrisburg carried the Blessed Sacrament, pilgrims arrived at St. Joseph's Church in Hanover, where they were welcomed by pastor Monsignor James Lyons and various senior officials of the Diocese of Harrisburg welcomed the Lord and pilgrims for an hour of adoration before a bilingual Vespers service.

Bishop Timothy Senior, Bishop of Harrisburg, presided and preached during Vespers, giving a homily on the importance of Eucharistic Revival and speaking about the Eight Days of Eucharistic Joy initiative taking place within the Diocese.

After Vespers, there was an Hispanic Food Festival in the parish parking lot featuring Mexican food in which hundreds were fed.

There was also a presentation of a resolution from the Pennsylvania Senate to recognize the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, in which the sponsor of the resolution, State Senator John DiSanto, gave the decree to Father Landry in the presence of Bishop Senior.

The resolution (300/2024), entitled Recognizing the 2024 National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, stated, among other things, that "whereas the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Route travels through Pennsylvania and includes stops from May 30 to June 19, 2024, in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Diocese of Harrisburg, the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, the Diocese of Greensburg and the Diocese of Pittsburgh; and whereas the Pilgrimage leads with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, the focus of the entire pilgrimage, and involves a small, dedicated group of Perpetual Pilgrims, a large Eucharistic Caravan of those who walk a portion of the route and gracious hosts providing hospitality along the way; therefore be it resolved that the Senate recognize the 2024 National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and its essential connection with the National Eucharistic Congress and Eucharistic Revival; and be it further resolved the Senate welcome the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage as it travels through Pennsylvania."

Father Landry thanked Senator DiSanto for the honor bestowed upon the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage in general and upon the Seton Route in particular.

There was Eucharistic adoration throughout the night at St. Joseph Church.

The following photos are courtesy of Jennifer Reed of the Diocese of Harrisburg


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