22 Jun 2014

This Week Letter – Jun 22, 2014

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My Dear Parishioners and Friends, The Feast of Corpus Christi is a liturgical solemnity celebrating the Blessed Sacrament. Each year, on the Thursday 60 days following Easter, worshippers commemorate the Last Supper and the transformation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Corpus Christi originated with the visions of the blessed Juliana of Cornillion (1193-1258), Prioress of the Augustinian convent of Mount Cornillion near Liège, Belgium, who saw a bright shield with a visible dark stain. This vision influenced Robert de Thorete, bishop of Liège, to decree a celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ for the Liège diocese. Julienne’s confessor and confidant, archdeacon of Liège, Jacques Pantaleon from Troyes, later Pope Urban IV, established the holiday for the entire Catholic Church with the papal bull “Transiturus” in 1264. Also critical to the papal decision was the Eucharistic miracle in the Italian town of Bolsena, where in 1263 blood began to trickle from a consecrated host in the hands of a doubting priest. The corporal on which a few drops of blood fell remains in the cathedral of nearby Orvieto to this day. In Poland, bishop Nankier of the Cracovian diocese was the first to advocate celebrating this occasion in 1320. In our country, as in parts of Italy and Latin America, the holiday’s tradition includes a procession with the Holy Sacrament in the Parish streets. The procession stops at each of the four altars in succession, where excerpts are read from each Gospel on the subject of the Eucharist. Why is this holiday accompanied by a procession? In the second half of the 13th century, a cross with the Blessed Sacrament carried during procession established the custom of bringing the Eucharist along for travel for protection from harm. In the 15th century Eucharistic processions were established in Germany, where they were joined with impetratory prayer for the reversal of misfortune and for good weather. In England, France, northern Italy and Poland, since the time these practices were objected to during the Reformation, participation in a procession was seen as a public recession of faith, which remains the case today. In Poland, the Feast of Corpus Christi is a statutory holiday. In the United States, however, as a result of the ministry’s considerations, the holiday was moved to Sunday, in order that the most people could take part in a public declaration of faith in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Many thanks to everyone who came to the organizing meeting of our Parish’s fall festivity, “Parish Dinner Dance.” Please mark your calendars and save the date for October 11th. We will meet in the Handzel Center as a Parish family for a joyful occasion together. On Sunday, August 24th, we gather for our Parish family picnic. This picnic will take place in Bunker Hill Forest Preserve in Niles, grove number 4. Presiding over this year’s picnic will be Mrs. Roberta Wachowicz, president of the Women’s Club, and Mr. Kazimierz Milewski, president of the Polonia Club. We ask all Parish organizations and individuals to help in preparation for our Parish picnic. We wish for this to be a picnic for everyone, regardless of age, language, culture or background. May God Bless You!