Updated: Jun 27, 2022
Hundreds make their way through Boise’s downtown in Corpus Christi procession
The following story appeared in the June 24 Idaho Catholic Register.
Bishop Peter Christensen, with the Monstrance, leads those who participated in the Corpus Christi procession back to the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Boise after winding their way through the Boise Centre plaza downtown.
By Emily Woodham
BOISE – Clergy and laity, old and young, joined a Eucharistic procession led by Bishop Peter Christensen for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi from the Cathedral through downtown Boise on Sunday.
The procession was one among many held throughout the Diocese for the feast, which means “Body of Christ,” and is a celebration of the Catholic teaching of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
In Boise, Catholics, even some who were not part of the original procession, knelt in veneration as the Blessed Sacrament passed by. Onlookers marveled at the beauty of the procession, which included a marching band and choir.
The procession went from the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, at the corner of Eighth and Hays Streets in Boise, to the Boise Centre plaza on Front Street. The procession then proceeded north on Fifth Street to Washington Street, and then up Eighth Street to the Cathedral.
Before the procession, Bishop Peter celebrated Mass in the Cathedral. During his homily, he said the procession “is a beautiful form of evangelization, as we give ourselves to walk the streets with Christ in the monstrance.”
“We value the gift we have received. We want to evangelize that goodness to all the world.”
It is human nature, he said, for people to want to show the world “that which they cherish and are so proud of,” he said.
Speaking about the Gospel reading for the solemnity from Luke chapter 9, which recounts the miraculous feeding of the 5,000, Bishop Peter said that the reasons for Jesus’ actions are not always obvious, at least initially.
“At what point did each of the disciples realize what was happening (in the feeding of the crowd)? When did they look up to see if their brothers were experiencing the same, amazing miracle of multiplication?” Bishop Peter said.
Another example of Jesus’ surprising behavior was when Jesus did not immediately go to heal His friend, Lazarus. Instead, Jesus waited until after Lazarus had been dead in his tomb for days. By waiting, Jesus gave a bigger sign than healing, by raising a man from the dead. “This Man has power over life and death; hidden things now become visible,” he said.
The unseen surprises that God has for humankind are also seen in the miracle of the Eucharist, he said.
“The Eucharist we celebrate is a miracle of God’s grace to each of us, who take part and abide in the meal – a meal like none other for those who see with eyes of faith.”
“Jesus was serious when He said to His disciples to not let their hearts be troubled. He tells them He will remain with them always. He does so by transforming ordinary bread and wine into His very Body and Blood,” the Bishop said. “A miracle is lived in each of our lives when we experience the gift of receiving Christ as we do today.”
“Through faith, we see things unfold that are beyond our power or control. New aspects of life are realized, new connections made, and when we receive Jesus into our lives, we experience life on a much deeper level. There is peace like none other. Hope is given and even greater faith received. Life takes on new meaning, giving a higher view of what is truly important,” he said.
Altar servers and Bishop Peter, along with those carrying banners from each deanery, lead the procession, which included a marching band and choir. (ICR photos/Emily Woodham)
This Solemnity of Corpus Christi marks the beginning of the National Eucharistic Revival by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Diocese of Boise began answering the call for Eucharistic renewal in October of 2021, with the first year of the three-year revival themed, “Remain in Me.”
“Remain in Me” focuses on relationship, identity and mission, with a special emphasis for parishes to have special times of Adoration and Exposition. This fall, the Diocese plans on inviting speakers to further form the faithful in the Church’s teaching regarding the centrality of the Eucharist as the source and summit of our faith and the belief that the consecrated host is not merely a symbol, but the “Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity,” of Jesus Christ.
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