By KATIE BORKOWSKI
Whether a new tradition or an old one, many parishes in the Diocese of Sioux City will commemorate the Feast of Corpus Christi with a procession.
“People love parades – homecoming, town celebrations or the Rose Bowl Parade,” said Father Mark Stoll, pastor at St. Bernard in Breda. “Before those, we had parades with kings and queens and their entourages parading into and around towns and cities.”
The most significant, the priest explained, was the “parade Jesus took part in at the beginning of Holy Week when he made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and people laid down their cloaks, waved palms and proclaimed ‘Hosanna in to the highest.’
“In the spirit of that day, the tradition arose in the church to take the Blessed Sacrament on a parade around the parish property and/or town,” said Father Stoll. “This is the way we help let the community outside the church walls know that Jesus is our King.”
Bringing tradition back
Breda St. Bernard Parish is planning a procession on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 18, after the 10 a.m. Mass.
Last fall, a parishioner informed Father Stoll the parish had a Eucharistic procession canopy. It had been stored in the bell tower for many years. The pastor explained the canopy is one of the largest ones he has seen.
“It appears to be very old, but in fairly good shape,” he said. “I asked for volunteers to do some seam repair. We will have volunteers clean and polish the six poles, which are about eight feet tall.”
The procession will begin with exposition. Then, Father Stoll will carry the monstrance down the main aisle to the front door where the Eucharistic procession canopy will be waiting with six volunteers to carry it. The procession will be accompanied by incense, candles and the processional cross.
They will process to the sidewalk in front of the church and then process pass the 10-ton statue of St. Bernard. They will proceed around the parish property, one city block and return to the church.
“During the procession we will pray two Eucharistic litanies,” said Father Stoll. “Once in the church or chapel, we will conclude with a short exposition followed by Benediction.”
Bringing churches together
The newly-joined Holy Cross Parish in Sioux City will host a Corpus Christi procession beginning at 7 p.m. on June 17 at St. Michael Church. The 1.8-mile procession will end at Blessed Sacrament Church.
“The tradition behind the Corpus Christi procession is to show publically our belief in the Blessed Sacrament,” said Deacon Fred Karpuk. “We are also doing this as a sign of unity in the merging of the parishes – Blessed Sacrament and St. Michael’s are now Holy Cross Parish. It will be our public manifestation of us coming together.”
Three priests, Fathers David Hemann, Roger Linnan and Daniel Rupp, will each “take a leg” of the procession and carry the monstrance. Deacons will also be present to assist.
There will be two stations along the procession. The first will be at Indian Hills where a litany will be prayed. The second will be Tott’s Conoco Auto Center at 35th and Jones where another litany will be prayed to the Sacred Heart. The rosary will be prayed along the way.
The procession will conclude at Blessed Sacrament where Benediction will take place. The evening will conclude with an ice cream social.
“No one should be denied the opportunity to be part of the procession,” said Karpuk. “We are going to have a bus that will transport people from Blessed Sacrament to St. Michael’s to start. We will take people who can’t walk (the route) to Indian Hills then to Tott’s and to Blessed Sacrament.”
Bringing Christ to the community
Humboldt St. Mary’s will hold its Corpus Christi procession following the 9 a.m. Mass on June 18.
“It (the procession) recognizes the importance of what we are receiving,” said Father Brian Danner, pastor of the parish. “We are taking the Body of Christ out into the world wherever we are and wherever we meet other members of the Christian community.”
The procession, he said, might create some “awe and wonderment” in the neighborhood and community.
“This may create some question about what exactly we are doing and the unique qualities of our belief in the Eucharist,” said Father Danner.
The procession will exit the main church doors and go around the square block to the main doors of St. Mary School and then to the south doors of the school. The procession will go back to the main doors of the church where it will conclude at a statue of Mary, the patron of the parish.
“We will stop three times,” said Father Danner. “At each location, there will be a designated station where songs and prayers will be celebrated.”
A processional canopy is being constructed to cover Father Danner, who will carry the monstrance during the procession.
“This recognizes the importance of our belief in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ as Catholic faithful,” said the pastor. “The canopy will help identify the uniqueness of what is underneath it.”
Algona – St. Cecilia Parish will hold a procession on the Feast Day at 4 p.m., June 18, followed by a parish picnic.
Denison – St. Rose of Lima Parish will hold a procession at noon, June 18.
Le Mars – All Saints Parish will host a procession at 12:30 p.m., June 18. The procession will begin with line-up at 12:15 p.m. at the St. James site, stopping three to five times on the way to the St. Joseph site. The procession will be completed by 2 p.m.
Oyens – St. Catherine Parish will host Mass at 11 a.m., June 18, followed by the procession and parish lunch at the school.
Willey – St. Mary Parish will hold its annual procession after the 8:30 a.m. Mass, June 18.