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Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession

News of the Diocese

June 14, 2023

Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession
Bishop Woost joins St. Paschal Baylon Parish for Corpus Christi Mass, procession

“On the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), we are invited to bring Christ’s presence to the masses,” Auxiliary Bishop Michael Woost told the congregation at St. Paschal Baylon Church in Highland Heights.

In literal terms, that meant taking the Eucharist out of the church building and onto the streets, which is exactly what happened after the 10:30 a.m. Mass on June 11. The same thing was repeated that day at many other churches throughout the Diocese of Cleveland and beyond. In fact, there was a procession from St. Justin Martyr Parish in Eastlake to nearby Classic Park, where Bishop Woost was the presider at the first of four ballpark Masses coordinated by the Diocese of Cleveland Parish Life and Special Ministries Office. The Corpus Christi processions launched the beginning of the parish year of the national Eucharistic Revival.

(See photo gallery above.)

“We’re invited to bring his presence to the masses, to our places of study, to our places of work and to our homes. Christ comes with us. We are the bearers of his presence,” the bishop added.

In his homily, the bishop reflected on the day’s readings and questioned aloud if people found Jesus’ words shocking when he told then to eat his body and drink his blood in order to have everlasting life. “Some argued it was almost like he was advocating cannibalism,” the bishop quipped. He quickly explained that this statement was “a visual sign of an invisible reality. He said, ‘This is my body, not this is like my body, and this is my blood, not it’s kind of like my blood.’”

The Lord’s words were a reminder of what happened on the cross when he gave his life – his body – for us. Because of that, we can participate in Jesus’ life, fully human and fully divine, the bishop said. “This is the life he invites us to through the great sacraments he gave us. In baptism, God came to live in our lives. In confirmation, we become temples of God,” he said, noting he recently visited St. Paschal Baylon to celebrate confirmation and was happy to be back and among the Blessed Sacrament congregation, whose members devote themselves to the Blessed Sacrament.

When we eat and drink the Lord’s body and blood in the Eucharist, we become living tabernacles, the bishop explained.

“In the Gospel, they talk about God coming to live within us. This is the God who was joined to us at baptism, the relationship deepened at confirmation and is renewed every time we receive the Eucharist, which is so central to who we are,” he added.

St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as the Little Flower, is one of his favorite saints, the bishop said. He recalled a poem she wrote before her death from tuberculosis. In it, she said that in receiving the Eucharist, she becomes a living monstrance.

“We are all called to be that so that through our lives the abiding presence of God shines through all we do and all we are,” Bishop Woost said.

On Corpus Christi and every day, the bishop said we should ask the Lord to deepen within us our awareness of the life of Christ so that we can be bearers of his presence to the world. He said Jesus tells us, “Those who eat my body and drink my blood will have life forever. I will remain in you and you will remain in me.”

After Mass, Father John Thomas Lane, SSS, St. Paschal pastor, invited the children who recently received their first Communion, ministry leaders, music ministers, the choir and the congregation to follow the clergy in a Eucharistic procession from the church to the outside.

Following the bishop who carried a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament, the procession left the church, walked to SOM Center Road, down the driveway bordering the parish and back into the church. The group sang as they walked and the clergy took turns holding the monstrance.

Once they returned to the church, the Blessed Sacrament was removed from the monstrance and placed in the tabernacle. After that, the congregation quietly dispersed.

Click here for a story and photos from the St. Justin Martyr Eucharistic procession and the first ballpark Mass on June 11. More information on the Eucharistic Revival can be found here.

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