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1.5-mile Corpus Christi procession draws 400 in Brainerd

For the feast of Corpus Christi June 3, nearly 400 members of Brainerd’s Catholic parishes took Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament “right through the heart” of the city in a Eucharistic Procession from St. Francis Church to St. Andrew’s Church.

“As we walked, we prayed the decades of the rosary,” said Father Daniel Weiske, pastor of St. Andrew, in an email to The Northern Cross. “We also had three stations along the way at which we prepared temporary altars for adoration, for the proclamation of a Scripture reading related to the Eucharist, and for singing songs in adoration. We ended with Benediction in the church.”

Brainerd procession
About 400 Catholics from the Brainerd area processed through the city streets with the Blessed Sacrament for about a mile and a half on the feast of Corpus Christi June 3. (Submitted photo)

At the end, the CCW of St. Andrew had a lunch prepared.

“It was beautiful to see people along the route, at their homes or at the bars and other establishments, come out to see what was going on,” he added. “It offered a chance to answer questions and, again, make known that the Lord is near.”

The story drew front-page coverage and an online video in the Brainerd Dispatch, the local daily newspaper.

He said the local clergy are unaware of the last time such a procession had gone through the public streets in Brainerd, but inspiration had been budding for a while. Father Weiske had hoped to do it for a few years himself, he said, and St. Andrew’s started a procession around its property for Father Timothy Lange’s first weekend Mass after his ordination and made it an annual event.

Father Weiske said another inspiration was the massive Eucharistic Procession in Duluth many parishioners had experienced a few years ago, marking the 125th anniversary of the Duluth Diocese’s founding, and a similar Marian procession held last fall in the Brainerd area.

“We held that procession in honor of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s appearances and message at Fatima,” he said. “The hundreds of people who took part last October loved the event and were eager to hold another procession. The answer as to when was easy: the church asks us to hold a Eucharistic Procession every year on the feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord.”

“This is a very public way to very honor Jesus truly present in the Eucharist, to unite our area parishes in adoration, and to let people know that Jesus Christ and his church are alive and are still here,” Father Weiske said.

He said he was happy with the turnout on a “busy and beautiful summer afternoon” and at the number of people volunteering and providing services.

“I was certainly very happy to have front-page coverage in our local newspaper, as we did for our Marian procession,” he added. “Our public witness and prayer had an effect. Christ was made known.”

As for parishioners? Father Weiske said they “loved it and want to do it again.”

And they should get their chance. He said the parishes plan to keep it as an annual event.

— By Deacon Kyle Eller / The Northern Cross