By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
The success of last year’s first bi-state Emmaus Procession — with the bishops of the Davenport and Peoria (Illinois) dioceses participating — encouraged organizers to plan another procession with a new route on Oct. 7. Participants who choose to walk the full route will process 3.75 miles from a parish in Moline, Illinois to a parish in Bettendorf. The procession will be held rain or shine.
“The Emmaus Procession began with Jesus and two disciples,” said Taryn Watkins of West Peoria, Illinois, the originator and lead organizer of the bi-state procession. Last year’s inaugural event drew 1,000 participants who walked all or part of the route from Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport to St. Mary Parish in Moline.
This year’s walk starts at Sacred Heart Parish in Moline and ends at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf. Participants should park their vehicles in the lot one block north of Our Lady of Lourdes. Volunteers and signage will provide guidance. Shuttles will take participants to the Moline church. Buses will be available from 6:30-7:30 a.m. Cars parked at the Moline parish must be moved by 10:30 a.m. because of another event at the church that day.
Bishop Louis Tylka of the Peoria Diocese will preside at Mass at 8 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, after which participants will walk to St. Mary Parish in Moline, then cross the Interstate 74 Bridge to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf. Participants may join the procession at any point.
“Jesus, present in the Eucharist, though in a hidden way, will walk with us in reality. As we are walking, Scripture that points to Jesus, especially in the Eucharist, will be read,” Watkins said. A shuttle will follow the procession for those who need assistance. The procession concludes with benediction at Our Lady of Lourdes around noon, followed by refreshments.
Regarding this year’s route, Watkins said, “We wanted to give an opportunity for other parishes to be included. I also wanted to use the I-74 Bridge since it is logistically and visually better.” Other factors included choosing parishes large enough to accommodate participants.
“We felt called by the Holy Spirit to continue to give him glory through this procession,” which was such a great success last year, Watkins said. “We are hoping to make this an annual thing as long as the Lord is calling us to do it,” she added.
“We’re really excited to have everyone come together to worship Jesus, to receive healing from him. Last year someone said that it was the proudest day of his life to be a Catholic and we are excited to have another day for Catholics to be proud of their faith.”
For more information, visit emmausqc.com