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Record turnout for annual Eucharistic procession

Shillong, Nov 13: The annual Eucharistic procession of the Shillong Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, held on Sunday, after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 restrictions, has drawn a record number of the Catholic faithful not only of Meghalaya, but from other parts of the northeastern region, with some estimates putting it at more than one lakh.

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What made this year’s Eucharistic procession memorable was the fact that this is the first procession presided by Archbishop Victor Lyngdoh, who was installed as the fourth head of the Archdiocese of Shillong in 2021, as successor of Archbishop Dominic Jala, who died in a road accident in 2019, while on a visit to the USA.

The Eucharistic procession, known in the Catholic Church world wide, as “Corpus Christi,” Latin for “the Body of Christ,” dates back to 1247, when it was first celebrated in Liege, Belgium. Two decades later Pope Urban IV extended it to the Universal Church.

While in other parts of the world the Corpus Christi procession is held in June to coincide with the feast of Corpus Christi, in India on account of the rainy monsoon season, the procession associated with the feast is held in the winter months after the monsoon period.

In his homily at the conclusion of the Eucharistic procession, Archbishop Victor  said the presence of Jesus Christ is not only in heaven, ”but with us too on this earth in the Holy Eucharist.”

For the local church, as the occasion also marked the end of the year-long celebrations of the Year of Gratitude, the Archbishop said “Though the year-long celebrations have concluded, gratitude for countless blessings received should ceaselessly be celebrated.”

Day of the Poor

After the culmination of the Eucharistic procession, the Archbishop told this reporter that as the day coincided with the World Day of the Poor, a message was communicated that every one should love the poor so that there will be God’s blessings.

The faithful from 36 parishes, those from Nongstoin and Jowai dioceses among others  were the participants.

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