Fort Smith Catholics honor the Corpus Christi Eucharist – Arkansas Catholic

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Parishioners of Saint-Boniface, Christ the King and Immaculate Conception treaties

Posted: June 29, 2021

Maryanne Meyerriecks

Father Daniel Velasco, associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, leads a Corpus Christi procession at St. Boniface Church in Fort Smith on June 6. A dance and drumming group led the procession.

Catholics from Fort Smith marched to St. Boniface Church, Christ the King Church, Calvary Cemetery and ended at Immaculate Conception Church to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi on June 6. During the mass, the sky cleared, ensuring the pilgrims a cool and dry weather. to honor the Eucharist.

The Immaculate Conception has been organizing an annual procession for several years. Between 2011-16, Father Henry Mischkowiuski organized a Corpus Christi car procession from St. Boniface Church to the Church of the Sacred Heart of Mary in Barling followed by worship, according to Father Peter Le-Thanh Quang, pastor partner of the Sacred Heart of Mary. The Vietnamese community youth group, Eucharistic Youth, participated in the event. After Father Mischkowiuski retired, the Immaculate Church began its own procession to the three churches of Fort Smith.

“Our procession numbered between 100 and 150 marchers. Most were from the Hispanic community, but we also had Filipino and Anglo-Saxon members. People were waiting in every church to pray with us, ”said Father Daniel Velasco, associate pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church. “We offered the blessing to Christ the King, at the Calvary cemetery and after returning home to the Immaculate Conception.” The procession lasted about three hours and 20 minutes.

While the group sang hymns before the Blessed Sacrament in Saint-Boniface, a smaller group of worshipers gathered in the chapel of worship. Bishop Anthony B. Taylor celebrated Mass and blessed the chapel and its new altar. The chapel, located on the west side of the Saint-Boniface presbytery, is open 24 hours a day to the faithful of all Catholic churches in the region. It reopened after being closed due to the pandemic.

“The faith of the people is what makes the procession,” said Father Velasco. “It is an opportunity to draw closer to God. The Matachines, a dance and drumming group, led the procession to prepare the city for the coming of the body of Christ. Because of the drums and the guard of honor, the locals knew we were coming. You could see in their faces that they knew something special was going on, even though they weren’t sure what was going on.


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