Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 24, 2023 / 16:15 pm (CNA).
A few hundred Catholics marched through the streets of Washington, D.C., to publicly pray and adore the body of Christ during a eucharistic procession on Saturday, May 20, two days after the solemnity of the Ascension.
The procession, led by Catholic Information Center (CIC) Director Father Charles Trullols, began at the CIC building at 1501 K St., NW, and passed by Lafayette Square, which overlooks the White House, and by the Veterans Affairs Building. It ended with Benediction back at the CIC.
“This was the best event ever, because we honored Jesus Christ in the holy Eucharist downtown, Washington, D.C.,” Grace Sims, 66, Arlington resident, told CNA after the Benediction.
Procession participants knelt before the Eucharist displayed in a monstrance and sang St. Thomas Aquinas’ hymn “Salutaris Hostia” before beginning the procession through the city. Attendees stopped at three altar stations for silent prayer. At the first altar, Trullols read from the Gospel of John and at the second altar, he delivered a homily. At the third altar, he celebrated Benediction.
During the procession, attendees prayed the joyful mysteries of the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. They also sang hymns, which included “Immaculate Mary.”
Edwin Salazar, a 27-year-old resident of Hyattsville, Maryland, told CNA that it was amazing how many people showed up to give public witness to their faith.
“I think it was amazing; it was beautiful,” Salazar said.
“It really helps people ground their faith when they have a community backing them up.”
Another attendee, Sandy Cremers, told CNA that she had been to a eucharistic procession before, but this was her first time attending one in Washington, D.C.
“We should do this every day until the country converts … and until our leaders convert,” she said.
Trullols told CNA that the procession helps Catholics see the “sense of the beauty that we all have to … give to the Eucharist and the devotion and reverence.” He added that it also helps bear witness to the faith in front of people who otherwise would not encounter the Eucharist.
Some bystanders who were not part of the procession also showed interest. Several people stopped to watch the procession, some took pictures, and others asked a few of the attendees about the event.
“I saw so many bystanders stopping, taking pictures, wondering what it was,” Trullols told CNA.
Trullols said this was the first time CIC organized a procession and it “exceeded all of [our] expectations.” He said he hopes to organize another procession next year “to make this an annual event.”
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