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Day 40 — A Day Celebrating the Priesthood That Makes the Eucharist Possible

NORTH PICKERINGTON, OHIO, June 26 — The fortieth day of the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage was a unique one along its journey, featuring adoration throughout the day at the Church of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in North Pickerington, Ohio, and a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the priestly ordination of Seton Route chaplain Father Roger Landry.

The day began when pilgrims brought the Monstrance to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. Parishioners and pilgrims had a chance to adore the Lord Jesus from 9 am through 6 pm.

At lunch time, the parish hosted in the parish hall a great luncheon in celebration of Father Landry's silver jubilee. The luncheon was prepared by parish volunteers. Father Landry's family and about 30 friends from across the country likewise traveled for the celebration. Father Landry's identical twin Scot served as emcee for the light program, which involved an invocation by Father Tad Pacholczyk, Father Landry's classmate from the Diocese of Fall River who was also celebrating his 25th anniversary; a benediction by Father Gerald Murray, pastor of Holy Family Church in Manhattan with whom Father Landry lived for seven years while he worked at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations; a welcome by Marlon de la Torre on behalf of Bishop Earl Fernandes of the Diocese of Columbus; an original song by the Seton Route Pilgrims in honor of Father Landry's anniversary; and presentations by the Seton Route Pilgrims and remarks by the Landry twins.

At 6 pm, there was Mass in joint celebration of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage's coming to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish and of Father Landry's 25th anniversary. The Church was standing room only and there was an overflow room with about 100 people who watched the Mass on a large screen.

Father Landry celebrated the Mass and gave the homily, in which he reflected on his own Eucharistic pilgrimage of faith and the major stations or encounters in which the Lord Jesus revealed to him his priestly vocation, helped him to grow in Eucharistic awareness and life, taught him to prioritize receiving him at Mass and gave him a hunger to spend time with him in Eucharistic adoration.

"The Eucharist is the very heart and purpose of the priesthood," Landry stated.

"It’s to give Jesus to others that a priest freely lays down his freedom in a promise of obedience to his bishop and the bishops’ successors, whoever they may be.


"It’s to give others the Eucharist that a priest promises to live a simple life, forsaking sometimes lucrative careers to give [others] the Pearl of Great Price worth far more than all earthly treasures combined.


"It’s to give others the Eucharist that a priest forsakes the great blessings of the Sacrament of Marriage and a family of his own. … Every celibate priest today proclaims by the fact of his ordination that he prioritizes your being able to receive Jesus every day in Holy Communion more than he does the beauty of human marital and familial love. … That’s why we need to be grateful for everyone of the 404,000 priests who offer Christ to us. That’s why we need to pray with persevering ardor to the Harvest Master for young men to hear the call to be hardworking priestly laborers in the Lord’s vineyard," Landry said.

"But even though the priest gives up a lot," the jubilarian continued, "he of course gains so much more. Through obedience, he learns true freedom; through simplicity of life, how to value the treasure buried in the field; through chaste celibacy for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, how to enter into Christ’s spousal love for the Church and to experience over time the joys, and sometimes the anguish, of a true spiritual fatherhood."

At the end of Mass, Bishop Earl Fernandes of the Diocese of Columbus gave remarks. He congratulated Father Landry and Father Pacholczyk on their 25th anniversary thanking Father Pacholczyk for his help to so many bishops, priests and faithful in the area of bioethics for the National Catholic Bioethics Center and Father Landry for his work in the area of preaching — which the bishop says he also consults — as well as his work for the Holy See at the United Nations and his service of the young as Catholic Chaplain at Columbia University. He presented Father Landry a papal blessing as well as a letter from the staff of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York.

Bishop Fernandes also congratulated and thanked Father Landry's family, which was present at the Mass, and thanked Father Leo Connolly and the staff and parishioners of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish for their hospitality to the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and to all those in attendance from throughout the Diocese to participate in the pilgrimage or to help celebrate Father Landry's anniversary.

After Mass, there was a Eucharistic procession around extensive campus of the parish.

Following the procession, there was a huge parish picnic.

Here is a photo album from Seton Parish for the day's events.