Revised route for Cork city’s Eucharistic procession

The 2023 procession was officially launched by the Lord Mayor of Cork city, councillor Deirdre Forde, and by Bishop Gavin
Revised route for Cork city’s Eucharistic procession

Bishop Fintan Gavin and Lord Mayor of Cork councillor Deirdre Forde at the launch of the 97th annual Cork Eucharistic procession, which will take place on Sunday, June 11. Picture: Peter Pietrzak

THE Catholic bishop of Cork and Ross, Bishop Fintan Gavin, has announced a revised route for the city’s historic Eucharistic procession, which returns next month for the first time since before the covid-19 pandemic.

The 2023 procession was officially launched on Tuesday evening by the Lord Mayor of Cork city, councillor Deirdre Forde, and by Bishop Gavin, at the visitor centre of the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne.

The Eucharistic procession, which dates back almost a century in Cork, will take place on the feast of Corpus Christi, on Sunday, June 11, gathering for prayers at the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, Shandon at 2.30pm.

At 3pm, the procession will then travel down Upper St John’s St , onto Mulgrave Rd and over Christy Ring Bridge, turning right onto Lavitt’s Quay, then left onto Half Moon St, up Academy Street and on to Patrick Street before arriving at St Peter’s and St Paul’s, where the procession will conclude with Benediction and prayers.

Bishop Gavin told The Echo that much consultation with An Garda Síochána, St John’s Ambulance, residents, and other stakeholders had occurred in deciding the route for the procession.

“The route that we have now takes us down through the city and we will have the final Benediction and homily in St Peter’s and Paul’s, and it will be video-linked with big screens outside so that people who might not be able to do the full walk will be able to be seated and be a part of it and pray along with us,” he said.

“I think the route that we have honours the 97 years of the history of the procession, and at the same time it works to have the procession both respectful and respected.

“At a time when the culture surrounding us may prefer if people kept their faith to themselves, the procession reminds us that to be authentically Christian involves giving witness in the public square,” he added.

“The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is central to our Catholic faith. We proclaim it without judging anyone else’s faith or philosophy. We bring our faith onto the streets on the Feast of Corpus Christi to humbly ask God’s blessing on our city and its people.”

Noting the procession’s origins in Cork in the days after the Civil War, Bishop Gavin said the Eucharistic procession was an initiative of reconciliation to bring people together unified around the Eucharist in the person of Jesus.

“As we relaunch the Eucharistic procession, we are bringing people together, people from all the different parishes here in the city and beyond, and we are inviting all the new faith communities who have made their home here in Cork to join us, the Indian Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Brazilian, African, Polish, Croatian, Ukrainian, and so many other communities, like Catholic Girl Guides, the Guides and Scouts Europe, Youth 2000, Neo-catechumenate, parish eucharistic devotion groups throughout the diocese, and so many others.”

Music is a big part of the procession, with choirs and groups from parishes in the city and beyond invited to participate, with the procession being led by the Butter Exchange Band.

A schools’ programme, explaining what a Eucharistic procession is and how it fits into the history of the city, has been sent to schools, the bishop said. “This is accompanied by a video presentation of the resources which I recorded in the Scoil Mhuire Fatima, North Mon,” Bishop Gavin explained.

“The pack of resources includes a template invitation which students will be invited to complete in order to invite their parents, grandparents, together with the school community, to the procession. There is a particular invitation to those young people who have received the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.”

Describing the Eucharistic procession as an important milestone in terms of religious and community life for the city, Bishop Gavin said he was pleased to see it return.

“This will be the 97th celebration of the Cork Eucharistic Procession as we look forward to its 100th anniversary in 2026,” he stated. “Preparations have been underway for several months and we hope to reach out to as many people, parishes, and faith groups to welcome them to celebrate.

Speaking to the people of Cork, Bishop Gavin said: “I invite you to join the Procession on Sunday, June 11 to walk in faith as people and families from different parishes, age-groups, communities, and countries. Together, we look forward to a memorable and prayerful procession this year.”

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