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by Nicholas Wylie  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 17, 2022   

Cajuns' procession highlights Real Presence

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A religious community in the diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, hosted its eighth annual procession down the bayou, celebrating Our Lord and Louisiana's Catholic history.

Church Militant's Nick Wylie discusses the Assumption-day tradition in Cajun country.

The Community of Jesus Crucified hosts a 40-mile eucharistic procession each year on the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption. 

The Fête-Dieu du Teche showcases Cajun Catholic culture. It follows the route that the Cajuns traveled after being exiled from Nova Scotia in 1755. 

Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC, community superior:

The Acadians came down. They were persecuted for their Faith. Came down — they found a refuge here and really brought the Faith, brought culture here to Louisiana. And so we don't want to forget that. Because if we forget it, we can lose it, and we'd be very poor without our Faith.

This year's procession was particularly important because of the three-year "National Eucharistic Revival" called for by the U.S. bishops' conference.

Each boat in the procession chose a patron out of a list of 50 saints who "exemplified a life totally dedicated to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist." Boats featured cutouts, banners and quotations from their chosen saint.

The procession stops at parishes along the Teche for Rosary and benediction, as well as a stop at St. Martin de Tours, the church established by Acadian exiles in 1765. It ends at the chapel of the Community of Jesus Crucified. 

With belief in the Real Presence at an all-time low, the Church needs more events like the one down south to bring people back and into the one true Church established by Our Lord. 

Eucharistic processions have long been an important act of public veneration in the Church, especially after the Feast of Corpus Christi was introduced in the 13th century.

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