Procession takes Body of Christ to the streets

By Enedelia J. Obregón
Senior Correspondent

The faithful filled the pews of St. Mary Cathedral and then spilled into the streets of downtown Austin in procession to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi on June 7.
The procession included four stops where altars were set up and the Gospel proclaimed. 
When he was a cardinal, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, wrote that a procession includes stopping at four altars because “The number four symbolizes the four corners of the earth, that is, the whole universe, the world we live in. The blessing was imparted in four directions, with the intention of putting them under the protection of the Eucharistic Lord.”
He said the four Gospels are read because “The four Gospels … are the breath of the Holy Spirit, and their fourfold number expresses the world-embracing power of God’s word and God’s spirit … uttering it, one is as it were sending out the breath of the Holy Spirit to engage the four winds, pervading them and turning them into good.”
As called for in the “Eucharistic Worship Outside of Mass (107), “The procession should go from one church to another.” Thus, the celebration began with Mass at the Cathedral celebrated by Father Kevin Rai, and ended at the University Catholic Center.
The Blessed Sacrament was carried out of the cathedral in a monstrance by the Father Eugene Nyong, parochial vicar, to the south steps of the State Capitol, where he read from the Gospel of Luke 24:28-35. Paulist Father Bruce Nieli then carried the Blessed Sacrament to the north steps of the Capitol, reading from Mark 6:34-55. 
Deacon Vincent Boyle carried the Blessed Sacrament to the Chancery at 1600 N. Congress Ave. and read John 6: 47-51. Deacon Guadalupe Rodríguez carried the Blessed Sacrament to the altar at the steps of the University of Texas Tower, then read Matthew 26:26-29.
Among the faithful were Yadira Lara, who brought her three children.
Lara is active in the Movimiento Familiar and a parishioner at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Austin. She said she wanted to teach her children about their faith.
“We need to teach them because some day they will be responsible for passing down the faith to their children,” said Lara, who is originally from Honduras. 
Fellow parishioner Olga Corrado, originally from Nicaragua, joined the procession with her infant and two other children.
“This way they learn to respect and appreciate their faith,” she said.
Javier González said this was his first procession in the U.S., but in his native Honduras, processions are held regularly for feast days, including the patron saints of towns and communities.
Deacon Ron Walker, chancellor of the Austin Diocese, said the procession, which is sponsored by the Cathedral, seems to be growing.