Feast of Corpus Christi Procession in Newbridge 23rd June 2019
Under persistent heavy rain and a grey overcast sky our annual Corpus Christi Procession assembled after the 2.00 p.m. Polish Mass, at St. Conleth’s Parish Church, to make its way down to St. Eustace’s Dominican Grounds for Solemn open air Benediction. Nothing deterred the enthusiastic participation of our congregation. Under an exquisitely embroidered antique canopy provided by the Dominican Community for the special occasion, the Blessed Sacrament was reverently carried by Fr. Eugen Dragos Tamas C.C. accompanied by Fr. Paul Lawlor O.P. Fr. Michael Cudzillo C.C., Fr. Thomas McCarthy, OP and Fr. Mark Zygadlo. Also in attendance were Fr. T. C. Anthony O’Carmelite and Fr. Praveen Lawrence O’Carmelite of the Carmelite Friary in Kildare town. They held their Corpus Christi procession after celebrating 10.00 a.m. Mass in the White Abbey.
As the procession drew close to the Dominican Gates, they were greeted and welcomed by Fr. John Harris O.P., Prior, aided by Fr. Philip Mulryne and Fr. Eoin Casey who received the living Jesus and continued the procession to a specially erected outdoor altar where Fr. Ned Murphy OP and other members of the congregation waited for Solemn Benediction. It poured from the Heavens but nobody paid any attention. All eyes were on Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, all hymns were sung alternatively in Polish and English and all gladly and reverently took part singing, in unison, the Latin Benediction rite hymns until the Blessed Sacrament was processed into the Church and reposed.
There is no doubt but our whole congregation were uplifted and extremely grateful for the determination of priests and laity to press ahead and adore Jesus, come what may. And we did.
This all took place with the hands on co-operation of a dedicated crew who worked tirelessly in the background and the very considerable assistance of Mongey Communications and Mick Byrne Scaffolding who, as in the previous years, provided their services and equipment free of charge. We are also grateful to An Garda Siochána and the numerous stewards who kept us safe in our long procession. We are particularly grateful to our Parish Priest, Fr. Paul Dempsey who unfortunately couldn’t be with us due to a pre-arranged televised celebration of the Holy Eucharist and to Fr. John Harris OP for their help in every way they possibly could. They were always available. But special thanks to Fr. Mark Zygadlo for his patience at meetings, for his guidance and help in planning and executing this event.
The event took on a truly catholic or universal dimension with the participation of the Filipino, African and Polish communities coming out in great numbers. It has a universal aspect because it is celebrated in every corner of the world in similar fashion. Jesus is brought into our streets, exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, not just for Catholics but for everyone. This was quite apparent as people drove bye in their cars and took the opportunity to take pictures of the procession, sign themselves with the sign of the Cross, while some onlookers joined in at various stages of the procession.
To Sacristans, Secretaries and everyone who helped us get the word out there, through media, posters, schools and word of mouth we are deeply appreciative. But to you who participated in such great numbers and were prepared to give public worship to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on this, the most solemn of feast days, despite the persistent rain, we say Go raibh mile maith agaibh.