By Charlie Johnston
I have been speaking for weeks about the importance of putting together public Eucharistic and Marian Processions this year to give witness to our faith. In that time, the TNRS Team has been working together with Dan Lynch of Dan Lynch Apostolates to develop support to help you put a fruitful procession together.
This is entirely an initiative in your own Parish or Diocese. You and those you gather to work with your Priest or Bishops will do all the work. The materials we have put together will help you better understand what to do and how to make it work smoothly, but the project is yours. We will publish a schedule and map of public Processions around the world as you get them planned, then we will publish stories with pictures of the Procession you had after it is over – if you have someone assigned to write it and send it on to us.
Once you get started, you will be assigned someone from the TNRS Team to be your point of contact throughout the process to help you with any problems or snags you run into. Dan Lynch has several holy images – of the Divine Mercy, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of America, and Jesus King of All Nations – that he often uses in public Processions. He also has more experience than anyone I know in putting together fruitful public processions. If you choose to request the visit of one of his Holy Images for your Procession, Dan will be your point of contact throughout the process. There are no fees associated with the help involved in getting it started, though if you choose to host a visit of one of Dan’s Holy Images, there is a small fee to his organization to cover shipping and associated costs.
From my standpoint, the purpose of these Processions is as a public act of faith in what lasts, what builds up, what transforms as darkness thickens around us. Christians have been holding public Processions as witness to their faith and calling upon God to bless them and their lands for more than a millennium. As chaos, confusion and strife rise, it is important to recall the God who saves, who gives life, who brings order out of the chaos. It is a profound sign of hope.
Anti-Christian forces will, undoubtedly, try to politicize and denounce these acts of public faith. They can’t help themselves and are desperate. We can’t do anything about that. But don’t you politicize them. This is an act of faith in our God, an act of trust, a public witness to Who we first serve. It is a statement that we will not be marginalized, we will not slink off to the catacombs. We will give witness to our love of God and of His Mother. Behave with solemn, but joyful, dignity. Do not get into arguments or shouting matches with any who try to bait you or yell at you. Remember, you are walking in service to your King. I was so proud of the Procession my Archbishop Samuel Aquila led around Planned Parenthood near Denver. Almost 2,000 people gave witness to our faith with solemn dignity – Knights of Columbus, Priests, Monks, Nuns, families and a multitude of children with great grace, joy and peace. We had one loud heckler, but after the fourth or fifth time around even he began to wish us God’s blessing. That would not have happened had people been combative. We serve the Lord of Hosts. Let us make Him proud.
The leader of the TNRS Team asked me not to give his name yet, as he is going to update this Post and this Page tonight with links to what you need and instructions on how to get started. I’ll go halfsies with him and tell he is Steve…but not Steve who. (Steve, you better let them know tonight). So watch this page, which will give you instructions on how to get started before the clock strikes midnight tonight (at least in some time zones).
[Charlie, you really make me laugh! Everyone, this is Steve Baker. Yes, that Steve. We are now officially live! To learn more about our “A Light in the Darkness” Processions and to begin the process of carrying out your own procession, please CLICK HERE to go to our Processions Page. We hope this journey we are now all on together will be joyous and uplifting. And now I turn the podium back to Charlie, so he can introduce Dan Lynch.]
Thank you, Steve. Here is a piece on “Processions 101” by Dan Lynch – again, the most experienced person I know in putting together fruitful processions:
Processions for Life, Peace, Justice and Mercy
By Dan Lynch
On March 5, 2016, Archbishop Samuel Aquila, of the Archdiocese of Denver, led more than 1500 people in a Eucharistic Procession around Planned Parenthood.
They processed seven times around the facility, in silent solidarity with those who have been silenced by abortion, and ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Years before, I had always wanted to be a part of a Eucharistic Procession of the Blessed Sacrament with the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to an abortion center.
In August of 1991, I was a Rescuer and a lawyer in the Rescue Movement. Rescuers risked imprisonment and blocked access to abortion centers by mothers and doctors to prevent their killing of the unborn children. They followed the biblical instruction to “Rescue those being dragged off to death [i.e. the unborn children].” (Proverbs 24:11). I went to Fargo, North Dakota, with the Missionary Image to visit and bring consolation and prayer to imprisoned Rescuers who had rescued at the only abortion center in North Dakota, in hopes that it would close down and be the only abortion-free state in our country.
While I was there, I led a procession with the Missionary Image to the abortion center and led a Peaceful Prayer Presence there. After that, I was inspired to visit Bishop Sullivan to ask him to process the Blessed Sacrament to the Fargo abortion center. I was apprehensive about requesting an audience with the Bishop and going through the bureaucracy of the Chancery. Nevertheless, I took the right next step and tried to be a sign of hope to others.
I walked into the Bishop’s secretary’s office and asked if she could schedule an appointment for me with the Bishop. To my great surprise, she nodded and said, “Yes, he’s in his office now, why don’t you go down there to see him?”
I said, “You mean right now? Should I just go down and knock on the door?” She said, “No just walk in. The door is open.” This was the first open-door policy that I had ever encountered in any Chancery. I was encouraged that I might have a good chance to have my request granted.
So, I walked down the hallway and walked in on the Bishop who was sitting at his desk. I introduced myself and told him why I was in Fargo. Then I got right down to the point, looked him in the eye and asked him if he would ever consider leading a procession with the Blessed Sacrament and the Missionary Image to the abortion center and celebrate Benediction. He thought for a moment (really, only a moment) and said, “Yes, and we will do it.”
One year later, on Sunday, August 16, 1992, I returned to Fargo with the Missionary Image. I participated in a procession with the Image, Bishop Sullivan and one thousand of the faithful. Bishop Sullivan carried the Blessed Sacrament in solemn procession to the abortion center.
Teenagers carried a banner proclaiming, “TRUTH – teens rescuing unborn tiny humans.” “It’s something we wanted to do and planned for,” said a fifteen-year-old Christine Phillips. “Maybe it will help end abortion. I’m happy I’m here.”
Bishop Sullivan stood in front of the abortion center and said, “We are here today because we have sinned. We can no longer act as innocent bystanders. We cannot stand by and watch the innocent unborn washed out of the womb with saline solution and cut into pieces. We want North Dakota to be a leader so that lives will no longer be taken away in the very spot on which we stand.”
“So many people in the last few days have asked me what this is about. Those people just don’t know you. Help us, Lord, to be followers, perfect Christians, and soldiers of Jesus Christ.”
The Bishop then celebrated Benediction in front of the abortion center and later led the fifteen-decade Rosary and celebrated Mass outdoors at a nearby Carmelite Monastery.
Likewise, in the summer of 1993, Bishop Paul Dudley of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, led a procession with the Blessed Sacrament and the Missionary Image to the only abortion center in the state of South Dakota. The Bishop said to the hundreds of prayer supporters, “We believe that human sacrifices are being done today through abortions, and we’re asking Mary’s prayers of intercession to bring an end to that in a non-violent, spiritual way.” The Bishop blessed the abortion center and its staff and prayed for its closure and for the conversion of the staff.
Each year thereafter, Bishop Sullivan followed the precedent that he had set. In November 2006, I had breakfast with Archbishop Aquila at the United States Bishops’ Conference in Baltimore. He had succeeded Bishop Sullivan.
He told me that he had continued the precedent set by Bishop Sullivan. This year, on March 5, Archbishop Aquila led approximately 2000 faithful in a Joshua Eucharistic Procession to and around Planned Parenthood in Stapleton, in the Archdiocese of Denver, circling it seven times in the manner of Joshua at the Battle of Jericho.
Dan Lynch Apostolates coordinate “Visitations” of Missionary Images (full-size 6’ x 4’ or small size 3’ x 2’) of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Jesus King of All Nations, Our Lady of America and the Divine Mercy.
Through the means of mail, email, computer and phone, we train and support Parish Teams, in coordination with their pastors, to receive these Images for church liturgies, veneration of the Image and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and Holy Hours from booklets that we provide appropriate to the particular Image involved. A Parish Team consists of “Guardians” of the Image, of Liturgies and Devotions (including processions), of Youth, of Finances, of Publicity and of Religious Goods.
Australian Cardinal George Pell said that the Catholic Church’s freedom in the Western world was under pressure from a new and dangerous trend of the use of anti-discrimination laws and human rights claims to attack the role of religion in public life and individuals’ right of conscience.
He said, “The secular and religious intolerance of our day needs to be confronted regularly and publicly…. This is one of the crucial tasks for Christians in the 21st century.”
So, we also recommend that the Image be brought throughout the community for public acts of mercy in visitations to prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, convents etc.
We also recommend that the Image be involved as a public witness of the community’s faith with public processions with or without the Blessed Sacrament and other images.
A Visitation seldom consists of only a stand-alone procession. The procession is part of a Visitation to a community, which should include at least a Holy Hour with veneration of the image and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on a day or two before the procession. The procession should be preceded and/or followed up with merciful visits with the Image to prisons, hospitals, nursing homes schools, etc.
Catholic processions are sacred public processions by people of all faiths in public places in silence and in prayer led by a bishop, priest, deacon, religious or lay person, with some or all of the following: the Blessed Sacrament; sacred images; banners and statues.
The purpose of Catholic processions is to arouse the faithful’s devotion, to commemorate God’s benefits to man and to thank Him for them, to peacefully protest evil and to call uponGod for further assistance. That is why they ought to be celebrated in a truly religious manner. Decorum and reverence must prevail. Processions should be orderly and dignified.
Processions give public witness of our faith that Jesus Christ, through the intercession and mediation of Our Lady, will bring the victory over our Culture of Death and bring us to a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love, for which St. John Paul II often prayed.
There is a Visitation registration fee of $25 and an image-shipping fee of $190. We ask the Parish Teams to distribute and collect petition and donation envelopes, provided by us, for the support of our apostolate and our prayerful intercession for their intentions in our chapel three times daily.
We provide a Visitation Manual that contains suggested Visitation procedures, including the formation of the Parish Team and their responsibilities, a timeline checklist and publicity forms. We also provide religious goods on consignment to explain the Images and promote the devotions. You may see them here.
Please click here to learn how to host a Visitation with the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe or our other images of Jesus King of All Nations, the Divine Mercy and Our Lady of America. Then contact us to host a Visitation and/or to arrange for processions and Holy Hours with these images.
Here is some more information to inspire you to host a Visitation:
Click on the photo of The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the upper right hand corner of the link above to watch a short video of our processions.
Please click here to read one of our Jericho Processions Visitation Report.
Please click here to read some other Visitation Reports.
Please click here to see more procession photos.
Read about Archbishop Aquila’s procession here.
Please sign the Petition here to request the United States Bishops to honor the request of Our Lady of America to have her statue solemnly processed and displayed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, as a safeguard for our country, as she promised.
The Visitation Manual contains a Timeline Checklist of Responsibilities found at the link above on pages 27 and 28.
If you would like more information, please contact us.
Thank you for your consideration.
Dan Lynch Apostolates promoting devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Jesus King of All Nations, Our Lady of America and Saint John Paul II
144 Sheldon Road, St. Albans, VT 05478
Phone: 802-524-5350 – Fax: 802-524-5673
Visit our website at www.JKMI.com
E-Mail Us at JKMI@JKMI.com
The Dan Lynch Apostolates’ Facebook Page
May Our Lady of Guadalupe keep you under the mantle of her protection and may the Reign of Jesus King of All Nations be recognized in your heart!