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 Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

SYDNEY, Australia (LifeSiteNews) — Around 15,000 Catholics braved the wind and cold to attend a Eucharistic procession in Sydney, Australia on the Feast of Corpus Christi. 

On June 2, the Sunday following the Catholic Feast of Corpus Christi, around 15,000 Catholics processed in the streets of Sydney, Australia led by the Blessed Sacrament as part of an ancient tradition to honor Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist.  

“Today, my dear people, you have very publicly acknowledged God,” Archbishop of Sydney Most Rev. Anthony Fisher told the crowd. “Today, you have very publicly witnessed to hope and unity.”

“My dear people, you have just proclaimed to our city the gift of redemption in Christ Jesus. Not through robust argument, clever rhetoric or special effects, but simply by ‘Walking With Christ’ whom you love,” he continued.  

“You proclaimed that Christ lives in our city, our communities, our hearts. He has given us his all, his very Body and Blood, all his substance and reality, all his spirit and grace, so no one would be left behind. Give him your all in return!” he declared.   

Eucharistic processions are a traditional Catholic practice, with feast days like Corpus Christi – the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – being a common time to hold such an event. During the procession, the Blessed Sacrament is carried by a priest or bishop through the streets followed by the faithful who sing hymns.   

While many parishes have abandoned the practice, those who do hold procession are often surprised by how many Catholics come to honor Christ in the Holy Eucharist. 

Indeed, according to local reports, the 15,000 Catholics included people from Samoa, Vietnam, Lebanon, Portugal, Croatia and Latin America.  

“Momentum is building for an enlivened Eucharistic culture in Sydney,” Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney Most Rev. Richard Umbers told the Catholic Weekly. 

“The faithful have always been present, they have just been longing for an outlet to proudly declare their love of Christ,” he continued, adding that the procession turnout has inspired him to plan more processions.  

“Our Catholic faith is more beautiful than the world. Jesus Christ more beautiful than anyone else, and he calls you and I to be holy,” St. Mary’s Cathedral priest, Fr. Roberto Keryakos, told the crowd.  

“Invite our Lord into those places that needs his presence. Don’t be afraid. If it’s been a while, come back home, if it’s been a while, run back to God,” he declared.  

As the crowd processed throughout the city, they sang hymns to the Blessed Sacrament, led by the Brigidine College Randwick and St. Peter Chanel Regent’s Park choirs. 

The hymns, along with the many school and parish banners, caused many along the streets to stop and watch the witness of faith.  

“Such processions are a leaven in our largely disenchanted world,” Director of the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation Daniel Ang said. “It reminds us that people come to and deepen in faith through multiple, overlapping experiences and influences, including the festive and by really ‘treading the ground’ in faith with others rather than speculating or observing from a distance.”  

“A graced afternoon and a simple, joyful witness to the treasure of the church, which is Christ, for many thousands,” he continued.  

Currently, Catholics in Sydney are hoping to host the 2028 International Eucharist Congress. 

“Today, my dear friends, you have done as the Council asked and helped prepare this city and country for that event, we devoutly hope Pope Francis will grant us in 2028,” Archbishop Fisher said. 

Similarly, Bishop Umbers stated, “It’s no secret that Australia aspires to host an International Eucharistic Congress, and such a public display of faith certainly adds credibility to our bid.”