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Day 44 — Reaching Out in Columbus To Touch the Eucharistic Jesus with Faith

COLUMBUS, OHIO, June 30 — The Seton Pilgrims of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage began their 44th day with a holy hour in the beautiful adoration chapel of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in North Pickerington, Ohio, close to where the pilgrims are staying in parishioners' homes.

During the Holy Hour, Brother Lazarus Vina, CFR, gave a fervorino on St. Francis of Assisi and the Holy Eucharist and Seton Route chaplain Father Roger Landry brought Jesus to the individual adorers in anticipation of the Gospel of the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, in which Jesus is touched by a hemorrhaging woman and reaches out to touch and raise from the dead the daughter of Jairus.

After the Holy Hour, the Pilgrims transported Jesus while adoring him in their specially outfitted Pilgrimage van to St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Columbus, where there were 45 minutes of adoration before a solemn Mass celebrated by Bishop Earl Fernandes of Columbus.

During the Mass, which was standing room only, Father Landry gave a homily in Spanish and English on the readings for Sunday.

In Spanish, he mentioned how in the Gospel, Jairus and Jesus make a pilgrimage together to Jairus' home. It was a pilgrimage of faith in which Jesus, especially after the death of Jairus' daughter, challenged him not to be afraid but to continue believing. He also said that a hemorrhaging woman made a similar pilgrimage of faith, crawling on the ground to touch the hem of Jesus' tunic, confident that even Jesus' clothes had that healing power. Both are a model for us, Landry said, of how we're supposed to live out the dynamic nature of the Christian pilgrimage, walking with Jesus knowing that he wants to heal us and raise us to the fullness of life.

In English, Father Landry described the power of Jesus' touch in both miracles and how we're called to reach out to touch Jesus and be touched by him in Holy Communion with similar faith. Many Catholics, he said, think they will receive a greater impact in their life from two Advil than from receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. They don't approach Jesus in adoration or at Mass with faith like the two figures in the Gospel, conscious that the depth of the touch of Jesus in Holy Communion is even greater than in the two miracles in the Gospel. He encouraged people to ask for the gift of faith so that in touching Jesus in the Eucharist we may be transformed.

After Mass, Bishop Fernandes led a Eucharistic procession in the streets around the Cathedral. Hundreds participated. Music was sung by Seton Pilgrims Zoe Dongas and Br. Lazarus Vina, CFR, and the Rosary was prayed in five different languages.

Upon returning to the Cathedral, Bishop Fernandes imparted Eucharistic benediction.

After benediction, there was a festival in the Cathedral parking lot during which all the Pilgrims introduced themselves and Zoe Dongas and Amayrani Higueldo gave brief testimonies. Then Bishop Fernandes took the pilgrims out for pizza and then to his residence to hear from them their highlights from the Pilgrimage's six days in the Diocese of Columbus. At the end of their visit, at the Pilgrims' request, he gave them his blessing for the rest of their journey.


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