Men’s Annual Downtown Eucharistic Procession
A Q&A with David Willig – Coordinator for the Downtown Procession
To conduct a Eucharistic Procession, a consecrated host in a monstrance is lifted and carried by a priest, who leads the faithful in a public procession. It is a public witness of the Catholic faith that begins and ends in a holy place. Like all liturgical processions, a Eucharistic procession is a reminder to the faithful of their own spiritual journeys from this life to the next.
How did this annual event begin?
This event began through the inspiration of a teaching by Father Al Lauer on re-establishing Catholic traditions that were very successful in the past but have been mostly discontinued.
In particular, he mentioned the Men’s Holy Name Society Parades which were very popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s. They drew 50,000 Catholic men from every parish in the archdiocese.
Our mission is to bring Jesus Christ’s presence, His body, blood, soul and divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist, into the core of our city. By processing through our downtown streets, we aim to bring His love, peace and joy into our city. All Catholic men are invited to join us in this prayerful and solemn Holy Eucharistic Procession. This is a public Catholic witness of our belief and reverence in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
This event is designated specifically for Catholic men. Why is that?
Now is the time to call all Catholic men to be involved in the New Evangelization by being public witnesses to our Catholic faith.
You also mention there will be stops along the way. Tell us about those.
The first stop for our Eucharistic Procession is at District One, headquarters for our Cincinnati Police Department. There, we will have benediction and pray for the safety and protection of our dedicated police officers and emergency personnel who serve our city. We also pray for the safety and protection of our city from all violence and evil.
The second stop is in front of St. Francis Seraph Church. This Franciscan parish has a special ministry to the poor and homeless in our inner city. We will again have benediction and pray for the poor and homeless in Cincinnati.
Why is it important for this event to be a public walk in downtown?
We want especially to bring Jesus’ powerful and real presence in the Holy Eucharist into the heart of Cincinnati.
Is this open to any man who wants to join?
We are especially inviting Catholic men to participate in this holy and prayerful Eucharistic procession. However, men of other denominations are welcome to join us if they are reverent and prayerful.
Who will be there – any particular clergy, men’s groups, seminarians?
This event will include seminarians from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary /The Athenaeum and Dominican novices from St. Gertrude Parish. There will be a number of priests and deacons in attendance. Catholic men’s groups from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky will also participate.
Who sponsors this event?
This event is sponsored by St. Antoninus Men’s Holy Name Society. Father Jon-Paul Bevak, pastor of Old St. Mary’s Church and Sacred Heart Church, will lead the Procession.
When will it take place?
The Fifth Annual Eucharistic Procession in downtown Cincinnati will take place on Oct. 19. It will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains and will conclude with benediction at Old St. Mary’s Church at 11 a.m. The walk is approximately two miles through the streets of downtown Cincinnati. There will also be an 8 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral preceding the Procession.