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Day 35 — Weirton, West Virginia, and Steubenville, Ohio

STEUBENVILLE, OHIO, June 21 — The Seton PIlgrims of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage marked the longest day of the year by crossing the Ohio River from Weirton, West Virginia, into Steubenville, Ohio, and took advantage of the extra sunlight with a nightime procession through downtown Steubenville led by Bishop Paul Bradley, until recently the apostolic administrator of the Steubenville Diocese.


The day began with daily Mass at Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in Weirton. Mass was celebrated by Father Tony Thurston, who also gave a short homily based on the first reading from the Mass of the day, for Friday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time. Just as Joash the King was hidden in the temple of the Lord for seven years before he was led out and proclaimed king, so Jesus, the King of Kings, he said, is normally hidden in our tabernacles, but during this National Eucharistic Pilgrimage is being brought through the country so that we can all proclaim, "Long live the King!"


After Mass, there was a breakfast reception in the parish hall, during which all of those on pilgrimage — the six young adult lay people, the priest chaplain, the two members of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, the four Daughters of Mary, Mother of Healing Love, and two lay women accompanying the pilgrims all 65 days in the "caravan" — gave brief witnesses of what have been the highlights of the pilgrimage over the first 65 days.


After the testimonies, there was a brief period in which pilgrims took questions from those in attendance.


Then the pilgrims crossed Veterans Memorial Bridge into Steubenville, where at Franciscan University of Steubenville, they had lunch and the participated in a conference on the Eucharist and the Vocation to Love. They listened to three presentations: Professor Perry J. Cahall of the Pontifical Josephinum Seminary in Columbus, on "A Nuptial Sacrament: The Eucharist and Marriage"; Sister Albert Marie Surmanski of the University of St. Thomas in Houston on "An Eschatological Horizon: The Eucharist and Consecrated Virginity"; and the great Scott Hahn on "Yielding Fruit a Hundredfold: The Eucharist and the Spiritual Fatherhood of the Priest."


The pilgrims were very honored to have a chance to have their photo taken with Scott Hahn and pilgrim Marina Frattaroli, who entered the Catholic Church 19 months ago partially as a result of Scott Hahn's book on the Eucharist, The Lamb's Supper, enjoyed a lengthy conversation with him.


After the conference, the Pilgrims transported the Lord to the location where an evening procession would begin at 7 pm, led by Bishop Bradley. The Blessed Sacrament was carried on a float during the procession, in which several hundred faithful participated. The procession ended at the beautiful St. Peter's Church in Steubenville, which, though large, was standing room only with many people seating in the aisles.


Everyone prayed together the Stations of the Eucharist composed by Father Jonathan Meyer of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, based on the Way of the Eucharist found at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.


After the Eucharistic Stations, Bishop Bradley gave a homily in which he expressed his great gratitude for the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage's visit to Steubenville and the importance of the ongoing National Eucharistic Revival.


After Bishop Bradley imparted Eucharistic Benediction, Seton Chaplain Father Roger Landry transported the monstrance containing the Lord to the Pilgrimage support van and they brought the Blessed Sacrament to Triumph of the Cross Church to repose him.


Then they had dinner with their host families.




The following photos are from the communications department of the Diocese of Steubenville.








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