On heartland roads, and a riverboat, devout Catholics press on with two-month nationwide pilgrimage

by | Jun 25, 2024 | Religion

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — “Bye bye, Jesus!” a child called out as the riverboat chugged away from shore into the Ohio River, a solemn bell tolling amid the thrumming of an old-fashioned sternwheel.Two Catholic bishops on board, representing dioceses on each side of the river, took turns holding aloft the guest of honor — the consecrated Eucharistic host, in which Catholics believe Jesus is truly present in the Communion bread.
Scores of devotees watched reverently from the shore on Sunday — nuns and families with clusters of young children — fingering rosaries, uttering prayers, singing quietly. Some knelt on the gravel surface.
The event culminated three days of devotions in this small Ohio city, launched by a procession through downtown streets on a sweltering Friday evening, where hundreds of devotees passed bars, shops, vacant storefronts and the curious stares of residents in folding chairs.
Among those in the procession were seminarians in black cassocks, nuns in habits, girls in First Communion dresses, and members of lay orders in traditional garb. One girl’s T-shirt proclaimed, “Get holy or die tryin’.”
It’s just a snapshot of a wider project. Catholic pilgrims are in the middle of a two-month journey on four routes across the United States. They’re planning to converge on Indianapolis in mid-July for a climactic stadium gathering called the National Eucharistic Congress, the first such event in more than 80 years.
Everywhere, the center of attention is the Eucharistic host, held in a golden vessel known as a …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnSTEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — “Bye bye, Jesus!” a child called out as the riverboat chugged away from shore into the Ohio River, a solemn bell tolling amid the thrumming of an old-fashioned sternwheel.Two Catholic bishops on board, representing dioceses on each side of the river, took turns holding aloft the guest of honor — the consecrated Eucharistic host, in which Catholics believe Jesus is truly present in the Communion bread.
Scores of devotees watched reverently from the shore on Sunday — nuns and families with clusters of young children — fingering rosaries, uttering prayers, singing quietly. Some knelt on the gravel surface.
The event culminated three days of devotions in this small Ohio city, launched by a procession through downtown streets on a sweltering Friday evening, where hundreds of devotees passed bars, shops, vacant storefronts and the curious stares of residents in folding chairs.
Among those in the procession were seminarians in black cassocks, nuns in habits, girls in First Communion dresses, and members of lay orders in traditional garb. One girl’s T-shirt proclaimed, “Get holy or die tryin’.”
It’s just a snapshot of a wider project. Catholic pilgrims are in the middle of a two-month journey on four routes across the United States. They’re planning to converge on Indianapolis in mid-July for a climactic stadium gathering called the National Eucharistic Congress, the first such event in more than 80 years.
Everywhere, the center of attention is the Eucharistic host, held in a golden vessel known as a …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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