Covid postpones Corpus Christi procession

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Sydney Catholics in a Eucharistic procession in 2019 PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

This year’s Corpus Christi Eucharistic procession on Sunday 14 June has been postponed by the Archdiocese of Sydney due to New South Wales government public gathering restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

In normal circumstances, Catholics in their thousands would have gathered from across the region to carry the Blessed Sacrament through Sydney’s Central Business District to sanctify and bless the metropolis.

Holding the Blessed Sacrament aloft, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP blesses the thousands who came to walk with Christ through Sydney’s streets in 2019. Photo: G Portelli, The Catholic Weekly

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP nonetheless encouraged the faithful to observe this most important feast by attending adoration in local parishes.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith

“I know that many parishes across the archdiocese of Sydney will be offering you an opportunity to spend time with our lord through Eucharistic adoration, “said Archbishop Fisher who emphasised the centrality of the Eucharist to the Catholic faith.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is livestreamed on Facebook by a parish priest (CNS photo/Katie Rutter) See HOLY-WEEK-EASTER-LIVESTREAM March 30, 2020.

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith [and] the feast of Corpus Christi is a time to unite in our love of the Blessed Sacrament. I invite you to spend some time in prayer with our Lord on this great feast.”

The Archbishop compared the extraordinary situation with the circumstance of Australia’s early Catholic history where the resilience of the faithful in their devotion to the Eucharist sustained the faith despite the suppression and banning of the Mass by the British government.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP at St Patrick’s Church Hill in 2019 – one of Australia’s earliest Catholic churches and a site that maintained the faith through devotion of the Eucharist during British Government restrictions in the early days of the colony of New South Wales PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

“Let us draw inspiration from the colonial Catholics in Sydney who were forbidden from attending Mass for 30 years but nurtured their faith through prayer and Eucharistic adoration.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and proponent of Eucharistic devotion and theology which resulted in the the establishment of the Feast of Corpus Christi in the 13th Century

The annual feast of Corpus Christi was established by the Church in 1264 by Pope Urban IV on the recommendation of Doctor of the Church Saint Thomas Aquinas. The feast focuses on the devotion to the Holy Eucharist wherein is present the Body, Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ through the transubstantiation of bread and wine. The Eucharistic sacrament, established by Christ at the Last Supper, is the heart of the Mass and life-source of the faithful in the Catholic Church.

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