by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The essential unity of the church — as well as its diversity — will be a major theme of the annual inter-diocesan Corpus Christi procession on June 7.
The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have alternated hosting joint processions on the solemnity of Corpus Christi since 2007.
Last year, the procession began at the Shrine to the Sacred Heart/Our Lady of Guadalupe in Kansas City, Missouri. This year’s procession will begin and end at the Little Monastery of the Community of the Lamb, 36 S. Boeke St., Kansas City, Kansas.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will be the main celebrant at the noon Mass, which will be followed at 1 p.m. by the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and a Holy Hour. The archbishop will begin the procession at 2 p.m.
“On the solemnity of Corpus Christi we see the unity of the church demonstrated in many ways,” said Michael Podrebarac, liturgy consultant for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
“We will see the unity of God and his people as Christ — present in the Blessed Sacrament — leads the way for all Catholics who, as the church, are also the body of Christ,” he said.
“Also, we see the unity of the church as exemplified by the ongoing joint participation by the two dioceses,” he added. “The unity of the church is seen, too, in the ministry of the archbishop to the faithful and the faithful in solidarity with their shepherd.”
Other signs of the church’s unity and diversity will be seen in the location of the procession and the conduct of the liturgy, according to Podrebarac.
This year, the procession will wind through a heavily Hispanic neighborhood, which also has a significant presence of Chin Catholics from western Myanmar (Burma). Organizers expect a strong neighborhood turnout as well as persons from parishes in neighboring counties.
“The songs will be bilingual — in Spanish and English,” said Podrebarac. “There will be constant prayers, singing and readings during the entire procession route.”
“Catholics of all ages, from different parishes and dioceses, and of different cultures and languages, can come together and be a part of the essential unity of faith in an outward and visible way by participating in the Corpus Christi procession,” he concluded.
The procession will leave the Little Monastery at 2 p.m. and travel north on Boeke to Central Avenue, west on Central to Bethany Park, south from the park on Bethany Street to Pacific Avenue, east on Pacific to South 10th Street, south down 10th Street to Homer Avenue, east on Homer to South 9th Street, north on South 9th to Pacific Avenue, west on Pacific and back to the Little Monastery.
There will be three stations at which the procession will stop for prayer: Bethany Park, the gazebo at 9th and Homer, and at the Little Monastery.
Many parishes hold their own Corpus Christi processions because the relative size of the archdiocese makes it difficult for many parishioners to attend the inter-diocesan Corpus Christi procession, said Podrebarac.
Nevertheless, Archbishop Naumann encourages all Catholics from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to participate in all or part of the procession as a witness to the church’s unity and diversity.
Mark your calendar
The annual inter-diocesan Corpus Christi procession will start on June 7 from the courtyard of the Little Monastery of the Community of the Lamb, 36 S. Boeke St., Kansas City, Kansas.
- Noon — Mass
- 1 p.m. — Benediction and eucharistic Holy Hour
- 2 p.m. — Procession leaves the Little Monastery and returns more than an hour later. Upon return to the monastery, the Gospel will be proclaimed, followed by a homily by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and ending with Benediction. There will be an ice cream social following the conclusion of the devotions.