Eucharistic procession part of seminarian outreach

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Seminarians from Holy Trinity Seminary organized Saturday’s eucharistic procession as a way of connecting with UD students. Photo credit Alex Fry.

On Saturday morning, April 1, University of Dallas students and seminarians alike gathered at the Church of the Incarnation to partake in a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to Holy Trinity Seminary (HTS).

With the sound of voices raised in song in the air, the group processed from the Church of the Incarnation to the Tower, before walking down the mall and through Braniff Graduate Building, and completing the procession at Holy Trinity Seminary.

The idea and drive for the event came from A.J. Motte, the senior seminarian representative.

He originally thought of the idea last year, while reflecting upon HTS’s annual Forty Hours of Devotion Lenten Eucharistic retreat, which commences and concludes with a Eucharistic procession.

“I almost immediately had the desire to share this tradition with the UD students,” Motte said.

The main motivation, Motte explained, was “to bring about greater community between the seminary student body and the UD student body as a whole,” citing the previous two semesters’ events such as S’mores with Seminarians, a joint effort with Student Government.

Seminarians are increasingly assimilating with the student body, Motte said, as his peers are participating in university events such as karaoke TGIT. Seminarians have also been volunteering with Charity Week in higher numbers in recent years.

But beyond getting to know each other socially, Motte says students and seminarians “ought to gather in prayer … Christ should always be at the center of our relationships.”

The event on Saturday incorporated both prayer and recreation, as HTS hosted a cookout with frisbee, music and fellowship after the procession.

Due to the multilatral nature of the event, a large amount of coordination and cooperation was necessary between HTS and Campus Ministry to secure the three priests who led the procession — Abbot Peter Verhalen, Father Don Dvorak and Father John Szatkowski — in addition to compiling the sacred music and making preparations in case of bad weather.

The sheer number of events already occurring spring semester increased logistical challenges. However, the event was successful, with a large turnout and beautiful sunshine.

Motte hopes that the procession “will help boost Catholic morale and continue to encourage Catholic identity on campus,” in addition to increasing curiosity about the traditions of the Catholic faith.

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