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Hundreds march in Santa Rosa during Catholic procession

To mark the Christian celebration known as the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Diocese of Santa Rosa led a 2-mile Eucharistic Procession on Thursday from St. Rose Church to St. Eugene's Cathedral.

The event began with a 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Rose, 398 10th Street. From there, St. Rose priest, the Rev. Michaelraj Philominsamy, led a procession of some 200 members of the diocese to St. Eugene’s, 2323 Montgomery Drive.

The procession carried with it several ornate objects, including the monstrance, a vessel that carries the consecrated Eucharistic host.

“We were walking with Jesus through the town,” said organizer Stephen Morris, director of Youth Ministry with the diocese.

The Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated each year 60 days after Easter, associated with the commemoration of Jesus's last supper with his Apostles before his crucifixion. It is a celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

The event also took place as part of the church’s National Eucharistic Revival, an initiative sponsored by the Bishops of the United States that began nationwide Thursday and will culminate in a National Eucharistic Congress on July 17-21, 2024, in Indianapolis.

Thursday’s procession took two pauses for prayer and reflection along its route.

First, the procession stopped at Prince Gateway Park at Sonoma and Santa Rosa avenues to honor the Pomo and Native American tribes that once called the merging of Santa Rosa and Matanza Creek home.

“It’s an important landmark in our town,” Morris said. “You also have Luther Burbank’s home right there. We wanted to bring Jesus to that area.”

The procession continued up Sonoma Avenue, stopping at the Santa Rosa Police and Fire Department, where the diocese members again prayed.

“We were praying for the hands that take care of our city,” Morris said. “We wanted to pray for the police and fire department who provide safety and security to our town, we prayed for the nurses and doctors (at Providence Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital) who provide healing. Up the block is Chapel of the Roses funeral home, and we prayed for those that we’ve lost. And across the street is Planned Parenthood, where abortions occur. So we prayed for all life.”

The march ended at St. Eugene's and remained there into the night. Now that the diocese has kicked off the Eucharistic Revival, local churches will continue to celebrate the Eucharist, Morris said, “both in the physical presence of communion and we as people getting together being the body of Christ.”

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