By Ann Schneible
DUBLIN, Ireland, JUNE 14, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Some 12,500 pilgrims from around the world on Wednesday participated in a Eucharistic procession through the streets of Dublin, where the 50th International Eucharistic Congress is currently taking place.
The procession, which concluded a day of workshops and presentations dedicated to the theme of “Priesthood and Ministry in the Service of Communion,” began at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Arena where Mass has been celebrated nearly every day of the C=congress.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and the papal delegate to the congress, led the pilgrims carrying the exposed Blessed Sacrament beneath a canopy. Following in reverential silence, pilgrims wound through the RDS complex and into the nearby streets.
Adam Gryc, a student from Germany who studies at Rome’s Emmanuel School of Mission, is in Dublin as a missionary and volunteer for the IEC. While he expressed his disappointment at perceiving that the percentage of young people in the procession was relatively small, he nonetheless was touched by the prayerful atmosphere.
“The beginning of the procession in the arena — it was very solemn,” he said. “Also during the procession, there was a very prayerful mood so I could personally enter into a very good prayer.”
“It’s good also,” he added, “to see many different kinds of religious gathered here.”
A young woman from Nebraska, Melissa Weeder, also shared her impressions of the procession. “It’s a blessing,” she said, “to be united with thousands of souls behind Our Lord, physically present in the Eucharist. You can’t underestimate the power of him passing through the streets in the midst of his people. So many do not know the gift that he’s given us. It’s just an honor and a blessing to be with the Church militant here today.”
After the procession, Sister Mother of Light from the congregation of the Servants of the Lord described the atmosphere among those who participated. “It was very solemn,” she said. “The spirit around where I was, which was not too far from the Blessed Sacrament, and just going up and down the streets of Dublin was beautiful. People were singing and praying.”
“And what kept going through my mind,” she added, “was just the beautiful passages from Scripture about following the King, and the virgins follow the Lamb wherever he goes.”