By Cian Molloy - 19 June, 2017
Corpus Christi processions are an important tradition in the life of the Irish Church, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin at a Mass at St Laurence O’Toole Church in Seville Place in Dublin, where the practice is being revived.
This is a parish that has “seen much violence and exploitation,” said Archbishop Martin, but by taking the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of the district, “we walk with Jesus in support of great families who work tirelessly, and with courage, every day in building community in Dublin’s north inner city.”
The Primate of Ireland said that “A procession like this was traditionally an important part of the life of every parish. The older generation among you will have memories of great processions in the past. I am pleased that this parish is now reviving this important tradition.
“This procession brings a message of hope, a message of blessing and a message of communion. We bring the presence of Jesus on to our streets to bring hope, to be a blessing and to build up communion: communion with Jesus Christ, a communion that then binds us together to build wider communion and community.
“A message of hope. Our Blessed Sacrament Procession through this community is a reminder to us and to the entire community that even though this community still suffers much – through poverty and unemployment, through criminal violence, through the suffering of those trapped in addiction – that there is always hope. The future can be different.
“As a Christian community, we want to say to all that hope for the future never vanishes. We pray for hope for families and especially for the children of this parish and community.
“A message of blessing. As we walk along the streets, we will bless places where violence has brought death and tragedy. As we pass schools, we will ask a blessing for the future of our young people. We will ask a blessing for our older generation who have done so much to build this community that they will never feel lonely, frightened, or abandoned. We wish to bring the blessing of Jesus even to the hardest of hearts who have caused so much suffering and exploitation. We bring the blessing and the consolation of Jesus to those who have been left grieving and mourning.
“A message of communion and life. As we walk through our streets with the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, we pray for healing and reconciliation between all who are estranged.
“The unity of the one bread, which we as believers celebrate and receive, reaches out beyond the four walls of the church building and reaches out beyond just the community of believers. As believers, we are called to be ministers of unity among all.
“There is great faith in this community. It may be that many people have drifted away from attending church. You know, however, and you know better than I do, just how many people and how many times people quietly – either dropping into a church or in the silence of their hearts – pray in times of distress and at important moments of their lives.
“We thank God then for the gift of presence in our hearts of the Jesus who cares. We thank God and praise him for the gift of his saving power in the Eucharist. We confide this parish community and especially the coming generations to the protection of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”