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ALTON - Dozens of community members joined the historic National Eucharistic Pilgrimage as it passed through Alton on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

The Blessed Sacrament has traveled from the four corners of the U.S. since May. These paths will converge in Indianapolis later this month. On July 9, the procession passed through Alton. People were invited to join the procession and attend services at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, St. Francis Convent Chapel and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

“This really has been a long-term project in the church to really focus on the Eucharist, and that is Jesus’s presence with us in the Blessed Sacrament,” explained Sister M. Beata Ziegler, FSGM, Vice President of Support Services at OSF St. Anthony’s Health Center.

Those in attendance on Tuesday spoke about their faith and their devotion to Christ as they walked with the Blessed Sacrament from Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church to the St. Francis Convent Chapel. They noted their excitement to be a part of the experience.

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“It’s just to proclaim our faith, so that the rest of the world can see how we honor Christ. That’s basically what it is,” said Ellen, a community member who attends Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Barb, another community member who was eager to walk with the procession, characterized the experience as a renewal.

“It’s a renewal, a renewal of oneself from within and a renewal of your faith,” she said.

Those in the procession sang and prayed the rosary and litanies. They were greeted at St. Francis Convent Chapel, where they held a benediction.

“The charism of our community is to make Christ’s merciful love visible,” Ziegler added. “If people just open their hearts, I think the Lord has a plan for every person that can be touched in our community here in Alton, and so just to really pray that we’re all open to whatever blessings that He has for our community in particular.”

For more information about the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, you can visit EucharisticPilgrimage.org.

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