Christ the King Procession, St. Patrick's Parish, Lithgow
On Sunday 20th November, the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, passes-by in Lithgow were amazed to see the congregation of St Patrick’s Church pouring out the front doors and processing down the street behind the Blessed Sacrament. This was the first Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Lithgow in decades and was a wonderful event for the Catholic community and a moment of witness to the wider community in Lithgow.
Processions are a reminder that we are a people who, in this life, are on a pilgrimage to Heaven. By processing behind the Eucharist, the community publically professed that its King – the One it follows – is Jesus Christ, present in the Sacrament. About 300 people participated in the procession that departed the Church at the end of Mass, walking around the city block in which is located St Patrick’s Primary School, before entering the school grounds for Benediction.
In this special Mass and procession, the children who were confirmed and who received First Holy Communion during the year proudly wore their red and white garments once more as well as the badges they received on those occasions. Other students from St Patricks School and La Salle Academy carried the Year of Mercy banner, the Australian and Aboriginal flags, their school banners, and the canopy for the Blessed Sacrament. Parish groups such as the St Vincent de Paul Conference, Gorrie Ban, the home Rosary Group, the Catholic Women’s League, and the St Therese Mission Group walked behind their group banners. The morning finished with a sausage sizzle and refreshments as well as face-painting and games for the kids.
Our procession was a wonderful way to conclude the liturgical year. It strengthened our sense of faith, our identity as a community and our willingness to bear witness to others in the wider community. It was certainly a celebration, not of ourselves, but of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe.
Fr Greg Bellamy