May 19, 2023

Seymour Deanery Catholics celebrate love for the Eucharist in Columbus

Father Christopher Wadelton carries the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance at the head of a May 7 eucharistic procession on the grounds of St. Bartholomew Parish in Columbus. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

Father Christopher Wadelton carries the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance at the head of a May 7 eucharistic procession on the grounds of St. Bartholomew Parish in Columbus. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Sean Gallagher

COLUMBUS—Love for Christ in the Eucharist brought together some 600 Catholics from across the Seymour Deanery for a May 7 bilingual Mass, outdoor eucharistic procession and Benediction at St. Bartholomew Parish in Columbus.

Cathy Lampton, St. Bartholomew’s youth minister, was excited to see so many people come to her parish from across the deanery, which stretches geographically from Franklin near Indianapolis to Madison on the Ohio River.

But many of the Latino Catholics at the event came to the deanery from many countries across the Americas.

“I’d never seen them before, but they instantly felt a bit like family,” she said.

“They were in my church, celebrating the way I do and honoring the Eucharist the way I do.”

José Morales also shared that love for the Eucharist. He came to Columbus for the event from his home in Seymour where the husband and father of three is a member of St. Ambrose Parish.

“The Eucharist is what is most important to me,” he said. “It’s our God on Earth—and I get to receive [him].”

Irving Luis wasn’t used to such large gatherings of Catholics from so many ethnic backgrounds, said the 16-year-old member of Holy Trinity Parish in nearby Edinburgh.

“It’s not something I get to see every Sunday,” he said. “It was one of the few moments in my life when I got to see a big congregation showing our faith and who we are.”

At the same time, Irving knew in his heart that it was natural, or perhaps supernatural, for Catholics to gather for worship like this.

“Our faith goes around the whole world, as it should,” he said. “God is the Creator of everything.”

The event was the last of a series of deanery-based events tied to the National Eucharistic Revival that took place in the 11 archdiocesan deaneries throughout Lent and the Easter season.

As the first year of the revival, focused on dioceses, comes to a close and with the second year, focused on parishes, beginning next month, the deanery events were planned as a way for leaders of faith communities across central and southern Indiana to explore possibilities for how the revival can be observed at the local level.

Father Christopher Wadelton, pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish, was glad to see so many come to his faith community on the north side of Columbus, not knowing in advance how many people would take part.

“We were overwhelmed and pleasantly surprised,” he said. “It gave me joy in my heart.”

Father Michael Keucher, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Shelbyville and archdiocesan vocations director, preached a bilingual homily during the Mass that started the event.

He described for his listeners a conversation he had with children who recently received their first Communion at St. Joseph in which he asked them about the diesel fuel needed to make the parish bus run.

“I said, ‘What if I had lemonade and said that the lemonade was a symbol of diesel. If I put it in the bus, would it work?’ ” he recalled. “They said, ‘No, Father. Of course not.’ It needs diesel, not a symbol of it.”

The same is true, Father Keucher went on, for humanity’s need for Christ in the Eucharist.

“Our souls and bodies were designed to run on God,” he said. “And if you put anything else in there, it doesn’t work. It needs the real thing. It needs the real Jesus. We need Jesus. We run on Jesus. Nothing else works.

“That’s what we have in the Eucharist. I think that’s why God, in his beautiful wisdom, has given us the eucharistic revival. It’s so beautiful. We need to be reminded in our heads and in our hearts that we need God. We run on God. Nothing else works.”

With Jesus fueling faith in the hearts of people, Father Keucher said, they can go forth to do the works of Christ and even greater things, which Christ promised his believers in the Gospel reading proclaimed at the Mass.

“Every time that we come into the presence of the Eucharist, we enter into heaven and heaven enters into us,” he said. “Jesus, the God of the universe, joins forces with us, creating a kingdom of love on Earth, a kingdom of peace, holiness and blessing.”

Catholics can build such a kingdom in this world, Father Keucher said, because “we run on God. He’s doing it in us. That’s the secret.”

At the end of the Mass, Father Wadelton carried the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance in a procession along the border of the parish grounds. Hundreds of Catholics followed behind, publicly showing their love for Christ in the Eucharist and in song.

“It was beautiful to bring Jesus outside of the walls of the church,” said Lampton. “That’s our mission. So physically doing it was really cool. I also felt really proud.”

Father Wadelton, encouraged to see so many people putting such value in the Eucharist in their daily lives and the life of the world, experienced a “revival feeling” in the event.

“We’re not healthy if our life isn’t centered on the Eucharist,” he said. “When we look at the world around us, we see a lot of problems with sickness and unhealthy behavior.

“We need to get Christ in our lives, in our hearts and in our bodies. The Eucharist is the source of that. This speaks to what our community needs and what our world needs.”

The parish year of the National Eucharistic Revival will culminate in 2024 in the National Eucharistic Congress, to be held in Indianapolis from July 17-21. Some 80,000 Catholics or more from across the country are expected to take part in the event.

Envisioning potentially thousands of Catholics during the congress taking to the streets of Indianapolis in a eucharistic procession excites Morales.

“That would be a dream come true for me,” he said. “It’d be more people to join us and to be able to enjoy with me what I enjoy so much.”

Father Wadelton shares high hopes for the congress.

“What a great public witness that will be when Catholics are out there in those numbers, from all ages, gathering together to celebrate the Eucharist,” he said. “If we can get the message out that this is what heals our families and our communities, who knows where it could go from there?”

(For more information on the National Eucharistic Revival in the archdiocese, visit For information on signing up to take part in the National Eucharistic Congress and for information about the eucharistic revival, visit

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