Religion: In New Orleans

  • Share
  • Read Later

Trumpets tore the night air. Into New Orleans' City Park Stadium, where 65,000 Roman Catholics knelt, moved a ''Eucharistic chariot"—a large float, draped in burgundy and gold fabrics, bearing the kneeling figure of George William Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago, and for this occasion a papal legate in a gold mitre and cloth of gold cope. Be fore him stood a tall ostensorium worth $35,000, an altar vessel made of gold objects, diamonds and other jewels donated last winter by thousands of Louisiana Catholics.

Holding aloft the costly ostensorium, which in a glass clip contained the Sacred Host—to Catholics the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ—Cardinal Mundelein gave to the 65,000 faithful the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament as lights in the Park blinked out and thousands of candles sprang into flickering glow. For a mercy, the rain held off.

Thus last week ended the Eighth National Eucharistic Congress of U. S. Roman Catholics. At the four-day meeting in New Orleans were most of the U. S. hierarchy, thousands of priests and laity. The weather was persistently bad. Once the rain poured down during an open-air mass which could not be interrupted, and which ended with a blessing broadcast from Castel Gandolfo by Pope Pius XI.