From the Morning Pages
I'm trying to figure out why the hell the Philadelphia Inquirer sent a GA reporter who covers the Jersey Shore to do the Prayer on the Parkway story. It's downright baffling. That said, the photos were nice, albeit in black and white:
The call to prayer was the crowning event for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Year of the Eucharist activities, which Pope John Paul II decreed as a worldwide spiritual-renewal campaign that ends next month.
One of the really intriguing things about this article that it's among the first in the paper since the Inky's recent decision to abolish capitalizing the male pronoun in reference to Jesus. When "The Passion" came out, the reporters were stunned to discover that was still the stylebook's demand.
More than 300 buses helped bring the faithful from the archdiocese's 274 parishes to the event, dubbed "Prayer on the Parkway." An estimated 25,000 to 40,000 people were expected to attend. An official police estimate of the crowd was not available last night....
"As together we renew our faith in him and the Holy Eucharist, we experience his presence and his love," Rigali said. "And from this presence and love we receive the strength necessary to live our Christian lives with fidelity and joy."
Communion was not received yesterday, but the importance of accepting the Eucharist as part of Jesus, and not simply as a ritual performed at Mass, was emphasized through Scriptures and hymns during the 90-minute service.
The ceremony began at 5:30 p.m. with an honor guard procession from the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul to the 13-foot-tall altar at the northwest end of Logan Square. Rigali and other clergy emerged 15 minutes later. The cardinal carried the consecrated Communion wafers in a monstrance, an ornate container that is part of the procession custom.
"The Eucharist is an essential part of our faith," said Mary Trudeau, 44, a homemaker from Willow Grove who attended with her husband and son, 10. "It increases our faith and helps bring us closer to God."
By receiving Communion, the faithful agree to accept - and then act on - the teachings and philosophy of Jesus, Rigali said.
"The challenge of the Eucharist is the burden to take upon yourselves in an ever greater measure the burdens of our brothers and sisters and the needs of the world," Rigali said.