FENNIMORE — St. Mary Parish, 960 Jefferson St., in Fennimore will host its second annual Corpus Christi procession through the streets of the city on Sunday, June 10.
The celebration will begin at 10:30 a.m. Mass with the procession immediately following. Fr. Miguel Galvez, pastor, will carry the Blessed Sacrament, protected by a canopy. Following will be the Knights of Columbus bearing a statue of Our Lady of Fatima on a litter specially built for the occasion.
First Communicants welcome
All First Communicants are welcome to attend and participate in the procession. Wearing their First Communion clothing, they will precede the Blessed Sacrament, dropping flower petals along the path.
Those wishing to participate should bring a basket decorated for the occasion. Flower petals may be brought from home (only real flowers). A quantity of petals will be available at the church as well.
All invited to participate
Persons who love Jesus Christ and who wish to publicly display their faith are invited to participate. This solemn procession will honor the True Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Incarnation and Redemption.
Participants will recite the Rosary and sing hymns during the procession. A program will be provided.
The procession route is approximately one mile, starting and ending at St. Mary Church and touching all four quadrants of the city. Benediction will be held in the church at completion of the procession.
Persons unable to walk in the procession may participate by watching from along the procession route and then join the congregation in the church for Benediction. Persons may also wish to remain in the church and recite the Rosary together as the procession continues outside.
The St. Mary Parish Summer Festival will begin following the procession. Food, beverages, an auction, and games for the whole family will be available on the church grounds. People are invited to stay to socialize with parishioners, relatives, and friends following the event. See http://stmaryfennimore.org/festival for more information.
Religion in the public square
In this present age, persecution of Christians throughout the world has become common. Participation in this Corpus Christi procession is a public voice of solidarity with those Christians who are being persecuted or have given their lives for the faith.
In the United States since 1963, prayer has been discouraged and all but eliminated from the public square. Silence in the face of this persecution has led to more recent blatant attacks on the faith and freedom of religion.
Defense of the Holy Catholic Church is needed, not just by bishops and clergy, but by Catholics and other Christians of good will everywhere.
Progression of liturgical feast days
During Lent and the Easter Triduum, meditation on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ leads souls to a greater awareness of the need for fasting and penance on the part of the faithful. Such personal sacrifice is a sharing in the participation of the Way of the Cross walked by Jesus to Calvary.
Jesus suffered in His Body for sins committed by the very people He created to share in His love. He shed every drop of His Precious Blood to open the gates of heaven for humanity. Loving sacrifice in union with Christ’s suffering calls down graces for the conversion of sinners and assists individuals toward greater personal holiness.
Following Holy Week and its solemn remembrance of the Passion, the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday opens hearts to great joy. The empty tomb is another proof of Christ’s divinity and is the promise of eternal salvation for the faithful. He is alive, resurrected in body and soul. Easter week is light and joy and hope.
Divine Mercy Sunday is the Second Sunday of Easter. This relatively new feast was proclaimed by Pope John Paul II in 2000 at the canonization of St. Faustina, the seer of Divine Mercy. Under conditions revealed to St. Faustina and approved by the Church, a plenary indulgence is available to souls on this day.
The 40 days that lead from Easter to the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven are a continuous celebration of the glorious humanity and divinity of Jesus. The Church proclaims His victory over sin and death as the liturgy relates the beginnings of the Church in the Acts of the Apostles.
After Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles and the Blessed Virgin spent nine days in prayer, awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit. As promised by Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended on them on Pentecost Sunday. The apostles no longer fearful began publicly proclaiming Jesus to the people. Great success followed with thousands being baptized.
The Sunday after Pentecost was proclaimed Trinity Sunday for the universal Church in 1334 by Pope John XXII. Prior to this proclamation that designated a specific Sunday for the entire Church to celebrate the Trinity, history recorded celebrations in the Church for centuries.
Corpus Christi Sunday
The Sunday after Trinity Sunday is Corpus Christi. The Roman Missal names this feast the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. Corpus Christi (Latin for the Body of Christ) was first celebrated in 1246 as a local feast at a parish in Liege, France. The feast was initiated to honor the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Celebration of the institution of this glorious sacrament on Holy Thursday had been somewhat muted because Christ’s suffering and death followed so closely after it. The original Thursday celebration coincided with the institution of the Eucharist on a Thursday. The faithful recognized the importance of a celebration of the Blessed Sacrament on its own day.
Within a short span of time, the feast had become so popular that in 1264 Pope Urban IV proclaimed it a feast of the universal Church to be celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. In countries where Corpus Christi is not designated as a holy day of obligation, as in the U.S., the feast is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday.
First Communicants and Knights of Columbus interested in participating in the Corpus Christi procession in Fennimore are asked to contact St. Mary Parish of their intention to attend. Call the St. Mary Parish office at 608-822-3520 (9 a.m. to noon, Monday to Friday) or e-mail