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Thousands follow Christ through the streets of Brisbane for Corpus Christi feast day

Corpus Christi 2017

Sign of faith: Fr Michael Grace holds the monstrance in the procession for Corpus Christi through Brisbane city. The procession was co-led by Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Fr Michael Grace and Fr Peter Fitzsimons. Photo: Alan Edgecomb.

CATHOLICS in Brisbane were brought to tears at the sight of thousands of people kneeling in the middle of road to adore the Blessed Sacrament yesterday.

More than 4000 Catholics processed through Brisbane city for the annual Corpus Christi Procession, which this year landed on June 18.

It was the second time in 40 years that Catholics have processed publicly through the streets of Brisbane, which was also streamed Lived on Facebook.

The procession, led by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, stretched to nearly one kilometre in length, twice the length of last year’s event.

The Blessed Sacrament was exposed on the top step of St Stephen’s Cathedral for the first time, allowing Catholics to adore Jesus on their knees on Elizabeth Street.

Roy Pires, one of the main organisers of the Corpus Christi Procession, was moved to tears at the site of thousands kneeling on the road in adoration.

“When I saw everybody kneeling down on Elizabeth Street on the road, adoring our Lord, I had tears rolling down my face,” Mr Pires said.

“One of our friends said they do this trip everyday for work, and now it will be a totally different experience every time they walk down this road.”

Catholics have marked the feast of Corpus Christi, now the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, with a public procession through Brisbane since 1912.

When the numbers exceeded 50,000, the procession was moved to the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds but the tradition ended 40 years ago.

Corpus Christi

Eucharistic witness: More than 4000 Catholics walked through Brisbane city for the annual Corpus Christi Procession. Photo: Alan Edgecomb.

Jesuit Father Gregory Jordan was behind the revival of the Eucharist procession 20 years ago and was held annually at then-Nudgee Junior College, Indooroopilly.

Archbishop Coleridge said in his preaching to the congregation that the Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Christ was “no mere vacant symbol”.

“We are the people who say we see more,” he said.

“But it is bread, and everyone sees that, but the more we see is the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.”

Through the consecration, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which is explained in the doctrine of transubstantiation, is “food and drink” for the “great pilgrimage of faith”.

“Christ sent us on that pilgrimage…and he gave with us food for the desert,” Archbishop Coleridge said.

Full coverage and photos of the Corpus Christi Procession through Brisbane city will appear in the June 25 edition of The Catholic Leader.  Photos will be available for purchase after publication date.

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