Corpus Christi Celebrations

2024 Corpus Christi Celebrations

With contributions by Province Treasurer Fr. Richard Alejunas, SDB, Pastor, St. John Bosco-St. James Parish, and Ms. Joyce Labelle

The feast of Corpus Christi occurred two weeks ago. Provincial Fr. Dominic Tran, SDB, discussed and encouraged us to renew Don Bosco’s Eucharistic love and practices as Salesians in last week’s issue of Salesian News.

Since then, two of our communities shared how they honored Corpus Christi with us. Here’s what they had to say.

Fr. Kris Cepil, SDB, holds the monstrance during the celebration in Chicago.
Fr. Kris Cepil, SDB, holds the monstrance
during the celebration in Chicago.
Courtesy of Fr. Richard Alejunas, SDB


St. John Bosco-St. James Parish held its festivities on Sunday, June 2. The parish has over 100 years of honoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with outdoor processions to proclaim its faith and evangelize the neighborhood.

At the St. James campus, the 11:00 a.m. procession began at the end of a Polish Mass and ended before the beginning of the Spanish Mass at noon. Many adults and children dressed in traditional highlander Polish garb and First Communion outfits marched in the procession around the church block and stopped at various outdoor altars. The Eucharistic pilgrims were animated in prayers led by Salesians Fr. Kris Cepil and Fr. Juan Pablo Rubio.

At the St. John Bosco campus on McVicker Avenue, the procession began at 2:15 p.m. and concluded at St. James Church with adoration till 4:00 p.m. The pilgrim procession was animated by scores of altar servers, nearly 125 boys and girls of the 2024 First Communion class, women and men of the Nocturnal Adoration Society, and hundreds of the faithful. The outdoor altar prayers were led by Fr. Rich Alejunas, Salesian pastor.

The USCCB writes: "Jesus gives himself to us in the Eucharist as spiritual nourishment because he loves us. By eating the Body and drinking the Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, we become united to the person of Christ through his humanity. ‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him’ (Jn. 6:56). In being united to the humanity of Christ, we are at the same time united to his divinity. Our mortal and corruptible natures are transformed by being joined to the source of life.” Viva Jesús Sacramentado!


The Eucharistic procession was held on the feast of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Sunday, June 2, at St. John Bosco Parish. This was an opportunity for the faithful to walk alongside our Lord in a powerful way to bring Jesus’ love to people and to profess our faith that Jesus is a King worth following.

This procession route was centered along the streets near St. John Bosco Parish. Fr. Adaikala Raja John, SDB, invited the parish family to come and “bring Christ, present under the sign of bread, onto the streets of our city” (Pope Benedict. Corpus Christi, 2005). This first Eucharistic procession was well received with about 500 participants.

Every person who took part in the procession had a place and a role in walking with both Jesus and one another. The celebrants—Fr. Adaikala Raja John, SDB, and Fr. George Atok, SDB (who came from St. Dominic Savio Parish)—carried the monstrance, which was central and essential, and the altar servers carried the cross, the lighted candles, and the thurible with incense, as the acolytes accompanied the monstrance. Fr. Chinna Balraj, SDB, from St. Charles Parish, joined as well. Many members of the various councils and ministries of the Knights of Columbus (KC), Catholic Women’s League (CWL), Legion of Mary, and St. Vincent de Paul carried flags, banners, and signs. Our brother Knights were bearers of the canopy, which created a sacred place for the monstrance.

Children who had received their first Holy Communion on this special weekend tossed rose petals for the path of Jesus. Parents pushed their babies in strollers, and toddlers, youths, and adults of all ages, including our seniors who used canes or walkers to support themselves, partook in this procession. Every person conducted themselves with deep reverence and engaged in proclaiming our faith: “God with us and for us.” Each person was mindful with sentiments of gratitude as they walked in silence, prayed the Rosary, and sang. During the procession, there was a stop at one of the school’s parking lots, where the Blessed Sacrament was placed on an altar. Here, participants engaged in moments of prayer and a time to listen and reflect on the Word of God. They spent this time adoring the Lord and knowing this Eucharist is the gift of Jesus himself, as our spiritual food.

After this station, the procession resumed its route and returned to St. John Bosco Parish. It was truly a delight to the faithful, as one of our parish families decorated this homeward route with an altar covered with linen with a statue of Mary and Jesus and lighted candles. Flower decorations lined the route back to the parish, which added to the solemnity of this Eucharistic procession. Then Frs. Raja and George held a benediction with the parishioners after they entered the parish. After this special procession, everyone was invited to a barbecue hosted by the KC and CWL. It was truly a beautiful and powerful encounter with our Lord.

June 12, 2024 - 10:00am
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