Sunday, August 14, 2022

Eucharistic Procession by Boat in Louisiana on the Assumption

On Monday, August 15th, the eighth annual Eucharistic Procession by boat down Bayou Teche, Louisiana, will take place as part of the celebration of the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the Acadian people and of the Acadiana region. It is also a day that marks the 257th anniversary of the arrival of French-Canadian immigrants who brought the Catholic faith to Acadiana after enduring great trials and suffering. (The procession was first held in this manner in 2015 for the 250th anniversary.) The 40-mile procession this year coincides with the first year of the three-year Eucharistic Revival underway in the United States.
His Excellency Glen Provost, bishop of the Diocese of Lake Charles, comments, “The Fête Dieu du Têche is a marvelous and fitting way to observe and contribute to the Eucharistic Revival which is on-going for us in the United States. The Most Blessed Sacrament traveling by boat on the bayou which was a major channel of transportation for our ancestors calls to mind the vital role that the Eucharist has played in the faith of Acadiana.”
As part of the effort to cultivate a deeper devotion to Jesus’ Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist, boaters will be able to choose a patron from a list of 50 Eucharistic witnesses – saints and blessed who exemplified a life totally dedicated to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, such as Thomas Aquinas, Jean-Marie Vianney, Katherine Drexel, Bl. Carlo Acutis and Mother Teresa. Boats will feature cutouts, flags, and banners bearing the name of their Eucharistic Saint and present quotations from them about the importance of the Holy Eucharist. Families, church parishes, and Christian communities are encouraged to participate by registering a boat and traveling down the Bayou Teche or by following in their vehicle and gathering at the various stops for recitation of the Holy Rosary and Benediction. Catholic schools are also encouraged to join either by boat or by gathering at one of the stops along the way.
During Fȇte-Dieu du Teche the Blessed Sacrament is fixed on an altar on the lead boat under a canopy. Two bell boats announce Jesus’ arrival and the thurifer boat carries a thurible which burns over 10 lbs. of incense along the journey. A statue of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a statue of St. Joseph follow on individual boats behind Jesus. The Eucharistic Procession pauses and disembarks at makeshift altars along the Bayou Teche for recitation of the Rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. For those who are unable to participate by boat, all are invited to join for Mass at St. Leo the Great in Leonville at 8 am and then to drive and gather at any of the planned stops along the banks behind the various churches along Bayou Teche. The prayers will be broadcast live on radio and live streamed, so persons with compromised health can listen while remaining in their vehicles. Priests will be available at each stop for Confessions.
For more information, visit the website or Fete-Dieu du Teche on Facebook, or contact Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC by telephone at (337) 394-6550 or email at Videos from past processions can be found on YouTube channel:
Itinerary for Eighth Annual Eucharistic Boat Procession on Bayou Teche
Monday, August 15, 2022, Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
8:00 am Holy Mass in French with Bishop John Douglas Deshotel, D.D. at St. Leo the Great Church, Leonville
9:00 am Procession from St. Leo’s to the Leonville boat landing
9:30 am Boat Procession departs
10:20 am Arrive at Arnaudville and disembark for Rosary and Benediction
11:45 am Arrive at Cecilia and disembark for Rosary and Benediction
1:35 pm Arrive at Breaux Bridge and disembark for Rosary and Benediction
3:15 pm Arrive at Parks and disembark for Rosary and Benediction
4:45 pm Flotilla arrives at St. Martinville behind Notre Dame; Foot Procession to Notre Dame de Perpetuel Secours for Benediction
5:00 pm Procession from Notre Dame to St. Martin de Tours Church for Benediction
5:30 pm Procession down Main Street to Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel for Solemn Vespers & Final Benediction
6:00 pm Solemn Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at Mater Dolorosa Chapel
Some highlights from last year:

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