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Day 24 — Eucharistic Adoration, Procession and Liturgy in Johnstown

JOHNSTOWN, PA, June 10 — The Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage spent the day at the co-Cathedal of the one of two see cities of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnston, where hundeds joined them for a day of Eucharistic adoration, solemn Vespers, a Eucharistic procession, and finally the celebration of Mass with Bishop Mark Bartchak.

The day began with Eucharistic adoration. The rector of St. John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown, Father Matthew Baum, met Seton Chaplain Father Roger Landry and Seton Pilgrims at their traveling chapel, the Route's support van, and led them to the altar where Father Landry placed the Eucharistic Lord Jesus in the pilgrimage monstrance on the altar and, as the organ played O Salutaris Hostia, incensed him and led the many present for the welcome of the Lord in the prayer of the Angelus.

There were four hours of Eucharistic adoration during which several priests offered the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

At 3:45, within a now packed Cathedral, in the presence of almost two dozen priests, Bishop Bartchak led Solemn Vespers.

After Vespers there was a Eucharistic Procession to Central Park, located a few blocks from the Cathedral, where there was a period of adoration before Seton Pilgrims Zoe Dongas and Marina Frattaroli gave witness talks about their own Eucharistic conversions. Hundreds were present in the park.

After a Eucharistic hymn, Bishop Bartchak then imparted Eucharistic benediction and the procession continued back to the Cathedral, where Bishop Bartchak gave another Eucharistic Benediction and the Blessed Sacrament was reposed in preparation for Mass. As preparations were being made, Seton pilgrim Dominic Carstens gave a witness talk on preparing for and participating fruitfully in Mass.

During the Votive Mass of the Holy Eucharist celebated by Bishop Bartchak, Father Joseph Mary Deane, CFR, a chaplain for the fourth week of the nine-week pilgrimage, preached a homily on the healing power of the Eucharist, illustrating it by detailing his own powerful conversion story of how the Lord once intimated to him interiorly to go to a hole where, he said a turtle had fallen in and needed to be rescued. After trying to ignore the strange suggestion several times, he finally gave in, went to the hole, and indeed found a turtle whom he lifted out of the hole. The Lord then interiorly intimated that just as easily as he had saved the turtle, the Lord could save him if he but asked. He did ask.

Over time, he said, the Lord brought him back from a lifestyle far apart from him to become a practicing Catholic, then a religious, then a priest and now a missionary in Ireland. He urged all those in attendance to recognize that Jesus, present for us in the Eucharist, wants to save all of us and lead us to a Eucharistic life, a life of holiness.

After Mass, the Seton Pilgrims traveled with the Eucharist to Holy Name Parish in Ebensburg, where pastor Father Brian Warchola welcomed Jesus for two hours of adoration with parishioners as the pilgrims were treated by the Diocese to a dinner at a local restaurant.

Then pilgrims returned to the Incarnation Center of the Carmelites of the Word who are hosting them during their stay in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

The following photos are from Tony DeGol, Communications Director of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.


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