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Day 33 — Bridgeville and Coraopolis

CORAOPOLIS, PENNSYLVANIA, June 19 — The Seton Route National Eucharistic Pilgrims officially crossed the half-way point of their 65-day pilgimage with the Lord Jesus and each other during their last day of their eight days in the Diocese of PIttsburgh, which is the longest stay they will have in any Diocese along their journey.


Their 33rd day began with Mass at Holy Child Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Bridgeville. Mass was celebrated by Pittsburgh auxiliary Bishop William Waltersheid, who has been a mainstay traveling to every stop along their journey within the Diocese. Holy Child Church was packed with faithful, including parishioner Mike Aquilina, patristics scholar, author, speaker and podcaster.


During the Mass, Father Michael Sedor, judicial vicar of the Diocese of PIttsburgh and in residence at Corpus Christi Parish, preached a homily on the meaning of a pilgrimage.


After Mass, there was a Eucharistic procession in the neighborhood around Holy Child Church in Bridgeville, attended by hundeds. During the pilgrimage, several members of the clergy had the privilege to carry the monstrance holding the Eucharistic Lord Jesus: Seton chaplain Father Seraphim Baalbaaki, CFR, parish Deacon Leonard Thomas, Father Sedor, Seton chaplain Father Roger Landry and parish parochial vicar Father Michael Faix.





After Mass there was a jubilant breakfast on the grounds of Holy Child Church.


The pilgrims then drove about a half-hour to Saint Joseph Church in Coraopolis, which is part of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, where pastor Father Frank Kurimsky welcomed the Blessed Sacrament and pilgrims to the Church. There was Eucharistic adoration taking place in the Church thoughout the day.


During the afternoon, Pilgrims took the Blessed Sacrament to nearby Saint Joseph Cemetery, where they adored Jesus, prayed the Rosary, said prayers for the faithful departed, especially those buried at St. Joseph, and then received Eucharistic benediction, which was imparted by Father Baalbaaki.


Later in the early evening there was a packed holy hour, with confessions offered by three priests and a Rosary led by parishioners. At 7 pm, there was a Mass celebrated by Father Kurimsky and concelebrated by several priests within a packed Saint Joseph Church.


Father Landry preached the homily, in which, focusing on Jesus' words from the Gospel about fasting, prayer and almsgiving, he related each to our Eucharistic faith: hungering for the feast of faith, which is the Eucharist; praying before Lord Jesus in Eucharistic adoration; and learning from the Eucharistic Jesus how to give ouselves together with what we have out of love for others.


He said that just as in the first reading of the Mass, Elisha sought a double-portion (two-thirds) of Elijah's spirit in order to continue his work, so Christ not only relates to us as Elijah related to Elisha as the heir to his division mission, but gives us in the Holy Eucharist "three-thirds" of his spirit, "his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity."


Father Landry described the purpose of the National Eucharistic Revival, and of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and National Eucharistic Congress as parts of it, as a means to bring our Eucharistic faith fully alive and help us to hunger for Christ, to make time to be with Christ in prayer, and to love in communion with Christ.


He cited St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, patroness of the eastern route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, and St. Thomas Aquinas, the 750th anniversary of whose death the Church is marking this year, as saints of Eucharistic conversion and Eucharistic love.


At the end of Mass, Bishop Waltersheid gave remarks in which he described the graces of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage's passage through the Diocese of Pittsburgh over the last week, thanked each of the pilgrims by name, and urged the faithful of the parish and the Diocese to continue to grow in the homage they give to the King of Kings, present for and before us in the Most Blessed Sacrament.


After Mass, there was a reception in the parish school gymnasium.




The photos below, from St. John's Cemetery and the Mass at St. Joseph's Church of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, are courtesy of Paul Marcucci, who said that they can be used with proper attribution.










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