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Day 20 — Entering the School of St. Elizabeth Seton's Eucharistic Life

EMMITSBURG, MD, June 6, 2024 — The Seton (eastern) Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage reached one of the climatic moments of its 65-day journey with a Mass at the Basilica of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Church that enshrines her mortal remains, a two-hour period of Eucharistric adoration, and two lengthy Eucharistic Processions leaving and returning from the Basilica.

The day began with Mass celebrated by Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, who gave a masterful homily on the Eucharistic love and life of St. Elizabeth Seton.

"What a blessing it is and how appropriate it is that the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a destination for the 'Seton Route' of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage," Archbishop Lori stated.

The shrine of St. Elizabeth Seton should allow pilgrims to "take hold of this great saint’s Eucharistic vision" and to learn the "gravitational pull" the true presence of Christ’s Body and Blood had in her life.

He described the stages of her Eucharistic conversion — her desire to believe what Catholics believed about Jesus' Real Presence in Holy Communion, her being overwhelmed interiorly by a Eucharistic Procession and her first Communion when she experienced a sense of union with God — and the mystery of how "the Eucharistic Lord was at work in her soul."

"Her search brought her to Baltimore where she opened a school and finally here to Emmitsburg where, imbued with the Sacrament of Charity, she founded the Daughters of Charity who would bear witness to the Eucharistic Lord through their life of prayer and their works of education, healthcare, and charity," he stated.

"As we trace the Seton Route along the East Coast, may we be overtaken by the same Eucharistic faith that animated the life and vocations of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton!," said the leader of the premier see of the Catholic Church in the United States.

"As each of us opens our hearts anew to the great mystery of faith, let us follow the example of the Filicchi family whose eucharistic faith had such a profound impact on Elizabeth," he urged, referring to the Italian family from Livorno with whom she lived after the death of her husband.

After Mass, there was the first of two Eucharistic processions, which included 1,500 people and went through the Seton Shrine's grounds to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, to St. Joseph's Parish in Emmitsburg, to St. Joseph's Cemetery and finally returning to the Basilica and Shrine. There was brief adoration and Eucharistic benediction at each of the stations.

After benediction in the Shrine, two hours of Eucharistic adoration took place, together with confessions, as people were able to get food from food trucks on the property.

At 1:30, there was another Eucharistic procession, with about 500 people, that went from the Shrine to Mount Saint Mary's Seminary and University and from there to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. At Mt. St. Mary's, outdoor stations for adoration and benediction were set up outside the university's Immaculate Conception Chapel and outside the main entrance to the Seminary.

At the Seminary, rector Msgr. Andew Baker, before imparting benediction, led everyone present in a prayer for priestly vocations through the intercression of Blessed Stanley Rother, a 1963 alumnus of the Seminary.

After procession up the mountain to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, there was the final benediction of the day, at the Grotto. From there, the Seton pilgrims processed with the Blessed Sacrament to their support van to travel to the Cathedral of Mary, Our Queen, in Baltimore, where there were Solemn Vespers led by auxiliary Bishop Adam Parker and where National Eucharistic Preacher, Father Leo Patalinghug preached a homily on the 25th anniversary of his first Mass.

In his homily, Father Patalinghug, famous for his Grace Before Meals and Plating Grace apostolates, spoke with various food analogies, Scripture references and humor, about how the Lord Jesus seeks to feed us in Holy Communion and stoke our hunger to receive him.

After Vespers, there was an hour of Eucharistic adoration as Fr. Patalinghug had a food festival outside the Cathedral.

Below are photos from award-winning photojournalist Jeffrey Bruno:


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