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Day 50 — Encountering and Celebrating Jesus in the Heart of Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, July 6 — On the fiftieth day of their journey, the Seton Route National Eucharistic pilgrims began their day early with Morning Prayer at the Church of St. Mary in Hyde Park, where some of them were staying and where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved. About 50 people came to pray Lauds with the pilgrims. The prayer was led by Father Alex Dugas, Parochial Vicar of St. Mary's.

After Lauds, Seton Route chaplain Father Roger brought the Blessed Sacrament to the Pilgrims' support van for a 20 minute journey to Holy Cross-Immaculata Church in the Mount Adams part of Cincinnati, overlooking the Ohio River. There more than 200 pilgrims had a half-hour of Eucharistic adoration before beginning a beautiful morning Eucharistic procession downhill to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter's in Chains in downtown Cincinnati.

Along the way, they had some amazing vistas as they descended the mountain and crossed the highway on an overpass.

Having arrived at the Cathedral Basilica, Seton Chaplain Father Joseph Michael Fino, CFR, imparted a benediction from the front steps upon the more than 200 pilgrims who had journeyed from Holy Cross-Immaculata.

After the benediction, Fr. Joseph Michael brought the Lord to the Blessed Sacrament chapel as pilgrims squeezed into a packed Cathedral for a 10:00 am Mass with Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr. There were several hundred people who needed to listen to the Mass in the area in front of the Cathedral.

During the Mass, Father Jacob Lindle preached a homily on the mistaken notion that to draw young people to the Eucharistic Lord, there needs to be something new and fresh. A young priest himself, ordained in 2022, Fr. Lindle said that the opposite is true: young people crave consistency and stability, whereas it's those who are older who want novelties because they can often grow bored, sadly sometimes even with God. God has made us to crave consistency and it's unsurprising that throughout salvation history, he trained us according to that nature, like with the manna in the desert for 40 years. All of that was preparation, he said, for the celebration of the Mass, having the Church "do this in memory of" him each day. He finished his homily by referencing an article Seton chaplain Father Roger Landry had written on the Venerable François Xavier Nguyen van Thuan and the way he found strength from the consistency of celebrating Mass each day for his 13 year imprisonment in Vietnam, nine in solitary confinement.

After Mass, Archbishop Schnurr incensed the Blessed Sacrament and a Eucharistic Procession formed. More than 2000 processed through downtown Cincinnati to Fountain Square where there was held a "Jesus is Here" Eucharistic Festival.

The Festival began with Eucharistic adoration and a meditation by Father Lindle on St. Tarcisius and a desire never to be separated from Jesus in life or in death. After benediction, Father Landry and Seton Route pilgrims brought Jesus to their support van and back to the Cathedral.

Then there was a festival with food trucks, confession, music by Damascus Worship and Jervis Campbell, and a testimony by Seton Route pilgrim Dominic Carstens. He gave an overview of the Pilgrimage and mentioned a few of the highlights, like the visit with the Eucharist and Cardinal Dolan of New York to the Statue of Liberty and the Eucharistic Procession in Kensington (Philadelphia), the opioid capital of America. He emphasized, however, that the main point of the pilgrimage concerns the 18 inches between the head and the heart.


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