Two weeks from today, the Catholic Church will celebrate the great solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord... Corpus Christi. Last year, the heavy restrictions prevented us from organizing any kind of procession, and the previous year St. Mary Church was closed for emergency repairs so we were only able to do a more abbreviated procession in the East Rock neighborhood around St. Joseph Church. So for the first !me in three years, we will be able to do a FULL Corpus Christi procession to celebrate this wonderful feast. The day will begin with Mass at St. Mary’s at 10:00 AM. At the conclusion of the Mass the clergy will process out of the Church with the Blessed Sacrament, with all of the faithful following behind. We will process through the streets of New Haven, witnessing to all our belief in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, singing and praying as we go. The procession will end at St. Joseph Church where we will have the final Benediction. After that, we invite everyone to stay for an all parish picnic on the lawn at St. Joseph’s. The picnic portion will be slightly different this year, as we are still dealing with the remnants of COVID related restrictions. The parish will provide (non alcoholic) beverages as well as cake & ice cream for dessert. However, we are asking individuals and families to bring their own lunches with them. You are free to keep them in your car, or for those who prefer we will open up the St. Joseph hall for those who wish to store your lunch down there before hopping the shuttle to St. Mary’s for the Mass. For those who are unable to attend the 10:00AM Mass, we will still offer the 5:00 PM Saturday Vigil and the 9:00 AM Sunday Masses at St. Joseph Church, and the 5:00 PM Sunday Mass at St. Mary’s. The Sunday Noon Mass at St. Mary’s will be cancelled so as to allow everyone who wishes to join in the procession. We are urging everyone attending this event to park at St. Joseph Church. There will be a shuttle bus departing from in front of St. Joseph’s starting at 8:30am to take people over to St. Mary’s for the Mass. Please come early! If 400 people all arrive at St. Joseph’s at 9:45, there is no way for the shuttle to get everyone to St. Mary’s in !me for the start of Mass!
So please please PLEASE try to arrive as early as possible. The parking lot at St. Joseph has roughly a 50 car capacity, and we can also park cars in the parking lot of Clifford Beers clinic next door. There is also plenty of street parking in the immediate area as well, please just mind the signs as on certain streets one side of the street is restricted to res idents with the proper sticker. For those unable to walk the full mile in the procession, the shuttle buses will be available after Mass to transport you back to St. Joseph’s to partake in the Benediction and picnic. Once the procession has arrived and the shuttles have brought everyone over to St. Joseph’s, the shuttle bus service will cease. Those who ignore our directions to park at St. Joseph’s and instead parked at St. Mary’s in the morning will need to walk back to their cars...so please follow our advice and park at St. Joseph Church! The highlight of the procession will be Our Lord Jesus present in the monstrance. But we will also have other statues, images, and banners being carried. If individuals or families have a favorite statue or image you would like to carry in the procession, please feel free to bring it along with you! This procession is a public proclamation of our Catholic faith for all the city to see. The more religious images we have, the better! EVERYTHING will happen rain or shine. In the event of rain, the “picnic” will happen in the St. Joseph Church hall. And if it is raining, we will process proudly through the rain (and enjoy it!) I am sooooooo looking forward to sharing this celebration with you all next Sunday!
God Bless, Fr. John Paul