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Day 41 — Praying with Christ Outside Planned Parenthood

COLUMBUS, OHIO, June 27 — On the 41st day of their 65-day, 1200-mile journey from New Haven, Connecticut, to Indianapolis, Indiana, the Seton Route pilgrims of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage engaged in many activities that are the staple of their days: Mass, Eucharistic Processions, and lengthy periods of adoration.

They also did something unique: process to and from the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Columbus, where in the presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, they prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and then prayed a litany that involved petitions for babies and moms who have died though abortion, for the silence, apathy and cooperation of so many to abortion, for those women being pressured to abortion, those children being threatened by abortion, for those women who have suffered abortions, for the fathers of those whose lives have been taken, for the conversion of those in the abortion industry, for government leaders and legal professionals to defend life, clergy to speak put for life, for all those who provide alternatives to abortion, for the courage and perseverance of those in the pro-life movement, for those in the media, education and law enforcement that they may abet a culture life.

The day began with a breakfast at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in North Pickerington, where pilgrims had spent the previous day. From there, pilgrims made a procession to Saint Catharine Church in Columbus. Because of issues with sidewalks and safety, the procession wasn't advertised, but still close to one hundred showed up to walk with the pilgrims. At St. Catharine's, there was a Eucharistic Holy Hour attended by a rather full Church. During the Holy Hour, Seton Route chaplain Father Justin Alarcón, CFR, preached a meditation on how Christ in the Eucharist draws all things to himself as he is lifted up in the Eucharist as the elevation of Calvary and pilgrim Christoph Bernas gave a witness on the importance of Eucharistic adoration in his life.

After Father Justin imparted Eucharistic Benediction, the Pilgrims processed a half-hour to the Columbus Planned Parenthood abortion facility. They were joined by several families among the parish who had received word. The visit was not on the published schedule of the Pilgrimage in order to prevent the possibility that other individuals or groups might try to take advantage of the visit for purposes other than prayer.

After a half-hour of prayer with the Lord of life across the street from the place where the deaths of so many made in God's image and likeness take place, Pilgrims processed to the Church of Christ the King, where that King, under Eucharistic appearances, was welcomed by a delegation of parishioners, including many young people, with lit candles.

After a couple of hours of quiet, private adoration, there was a formal holy hour in Spanish during which the Rosary was prayed, Fr. Justin gave a brief homily on how Jesus Christ is true God and true man and we adore that sacred humanity and divinity in the Eucharist, as St. Cyril of Alexandria defended. Pilgrim Amayrani Higueldo gave a witness about her Eucharistic conversion.

Following the Holy Hour, Bishop Earl Fernandes of the Diocese of Columbus celebrated Mass in Spanish and gave a homily in which, based on the daily Mass readings, he encouraged all present to build their lives on the rock of Jesus' words about his presence for us in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

After Mass, Bishop Fernandes exposed the Blessed Sacrament for a brief period of adoration before giving Eucharistic benediction. Then he carried the Lord Jesus in a monstrance to the Pilgrimage's support van, where Father Roger Landry, chaplain to the Seton Route, carefully mounted the Lord on the specially-designed Tabor in the vehicle.

Here are photos from the Seton Parish album for the June 27 procession.