Saturday, April 14, 2007

Eucharistic Procession at Notre Dame: A Great Idea after the Game

I received a great e-mail this week from Fr. Kevin Russeau, CSC, Director of Old College Undergraduate Seminary, which proclaimed the Third Annual Eucharistic Procession at Notre Dame. It will take place on Sunday, April 22nd, after 11:45 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart Basilica (as well as a day after Fighting Irish's annual Blue & Gold spring intersquad football game). While he is not expecting the 30,000 plus that the game will draw Saturday, Fr. Kevin is optimistic that enough students from Notre Dame, St. Mary's and Holy Cross Jr. College (across the street from Notre Dame), as well as the Blessed-Sacrament-inspired general public, will join the staff of all three institutions to make this "a great public witness and devotion to the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist."

The procession will start at Notre Dame's church and proceed along the campus' "God Quad," stopping for Benediction before the statues of the Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Notre Dame, and Fr. Sorin before concluding back at the Golden Dome and grotto. And you needn't worry about getting weary after the journey, for the Notre Dame Knights of Columbus will provide refreshments and sack lunches for all at the conclusion of the celebration.

While prayer at a Eucharistic Adoration procession is powerful for any of its participant's intentions, Fr. Russeau noted that, in keeping with the desires of the founder of the Holy Cross order, Venerable Father Basil Anthony Moreau, three specific graces will be prayed for on that day. First, for a "greater respect of and protection for the rights of all human life from conception to natural death," second, "an increase of vocations to the religious life and priesthood especially in the Congregation of Holy Cross," and third, "blessings for the students, faculty, staff, religious, trustees, and administration of the three institutions of higher learning."

While this is definitely a grace-filled event for both the gung-ho Catholics and those who oppose Notre Dame (as it gets harder to call the University not Catholic when it is once again staging Eucharist processions), it also serves as a great kick-off not only to the football season (a spiritual companion to the spring game if you will) but to the celebration of the beatification of Fr. Moreau himself which will take place in France on Sept. 15, 2007. And THIS date is not only the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (one of Fr. Moreau's favorites), but the day the Fighting Irish meet up with Michigan at the Big House, perhaps its toughest road game of the season. And although Fr. Moreau (who personally sent Fr. Sorin to the United States to found Our Lady's University) may not be pleased with some of the secular shenanigans introduced at ND by his successors, he certainly will be happy to see his desire for Eucharistic Adoration here continued through his name, and his intercession will no doubt be helpful to the Irish that day during the big game.

And so, I ask all true fans of Our Lady to either attend this holy march next Sunday or pray for Fr. Moreau's intentions that day from home. And, yes, Fighting Irish fans, including you non-Catholics, this is for you too. Knute Rockne himself spent ten years praying at Eucharistic Adoration (in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacred Heart Church) before he decided to become a member of the Catholic Church—and THAT was only after he was invited to join by the players of his most famous team, the Four Horsemen and the Seven Mules. Consider THIS your invitation; Notre Dame needs your participation. "The Rock" (not to mention Frs. Moreau and Russeau) would be so proud!

For more information about this Eucharistic Procession, please contact Fr. Kevin Russeau, CSC, at

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