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Corpus Christi procession draws faithful

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An outdoor Eucharistic procession for the feast of Corpus Christi drew more than 400 people from several parishes to Christ the Redeemer Church in Sterling June 6, despite sweltering heat.

The inaugural event was organized by the parish youth group Sagrado Corazón. “We started working on this (in) April,” said Daisy Portillo, coordinator of the young adult youth group.

“When there is such a large group of faithful, active and generous young adults who want to serve the parish, it was an easy decision to say yes to having this procession,” said Father J.D. Jaffe, pastor.

The group meets every Sunday after the 2 p.m. Mass. “They have been a tremendous support volunteering in our parish in many different ways,” he said. “They wanted to give back to the community by planning an event that the whole parish could enjoy. Many of them are familiar with processions from their time growing up.

“It is such an inspiration to see our Young Adults taking such great initiative and leadership. They gave the parish a wonderful gift by organizing this beautiful Eucharistic procession,” Father Jaffe said, adding that he was pleased the community was “able to celebrate Our Lord present in the Eucharist, sanctify our neighborhood and bring Jesus to others.”

About 325 people participated in the procession while another 75 prayed in the church.

Father Jaffe led the procession while a multilingual rosary was recited in French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog and English. The procession also included live music by Los Misioneros de Cristo.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office “welcomed us and (kept) us safe, supporting us along the route,” which extended 1.7 miles, according to Father Jaffe. He also thanked the Loudoun Volunteer Fire and Rescue for “joining us for the event to ensure our health and safety.”  More than 40 volunteers supported the crowd that also drew faithful from other parishes.

“This is fantastic,” said Rich Gruber, a parishioner of Our Lady of Hope Church in Potomac Falls, who joined with his wife and friends. “We came here because we heard about it last week.”

“I think it’s awesome to take the (Eucharist) and present it to the rest of the world. I wouldn’t miss it,” said Rhonda Levinson, a parishioner of Christ the Redeemer. “I would love to see this happen again.”

“This was the first of many Eucharistic processions that we hope to have for Corpus Christi each year,” said Father Jaffe.

This story is also available in Spanish.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021