DAVENPORT — An Emmaus procession on Oct. 8 seeks to bring people together from the Diocese of Davenport and Diocese of Peoria, Illinois.
Organizer Taryn Watkins of Peoria said, “It seemed like a beautiful way to exemplify the unity of the Church and solidarity between parishes and different groups within the Church. I had this idea for many years, but this Easter was when I decided to reach out” to gauge interest. Concrete planning began in July. She shared her idea with friend Father Joseph Baker, pastor of St. Ambrose Parish in Milan, Illinois, and St. Patrick Parish in Andalusia, Illinois, who was affirming.
Watkins, a consecrated virgin, contacted Bishop Louis Tylka, who leads the Peoria Diocese, and he “was on board.” Then she contacted Bishop Thomas Zinkula about participation from the Diocese of Davenport. He was receptive.
Mass begins at 8 a.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. From there, a Eucharistic procession will make its way along a five-mile route that ends in Moline, Illinois. Outdoor altars will be set up for prayer or song along the way and water will be available at each stop, Watkins noted.
Catholics will process from Sacred Heart Cathedral to St. Anthony Parish in Davenport. From there, they will cross the Mississippi River via the Arsenal Bridge and make stops at St. Mary Parish and then Sacred Heart Parish, both in Rock Island, Illinois. The event concludes with benediction at St. Mary Parish in Moline. Priests from both sides of the river will take turns carrying the monstrance. Bishops Zinkula and Tylka will be in attendance.
Participants may join or leave the procession at any of the sites along the way if they are unable to complete the five-mile route. The hope is to arrive in Moline around 11:30 a.m. Following benediction, food and refreshments for purchase will be available from parishioners there.
Watkins recommended that people park at St. Mary in Moline before the procession. Transportation will be available to the cathedral. Shuttles will run from 7-7:50 a.m. People parking at the cathedral should move their vehicles by 11:30 a.m. due to another scheduled event there.
Priests or deacons who would like to join the procession should contact Watkins. Members of some Knights of Columbus councils will help with logistics, including shuttles. “We are so excited to see what God will do with this. It is an unprecedented event that is a beautiful witness of devotion to our Eucharistic Lord,” she said.
For more information, contact Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (815) 981-6576 or visit www.emmausqc.com