Jesus is Everywhere

Pastor's Desk
In 1968 the Garland of Roses was awarded to Dancer’s Image, only to have the title taken away when he tested positive for a prohibited anti-inflammatory. A month later at the Feast of Corpus Christi Archbishop McDonough blessed thousands with the Eucharist from an altar built in the winners’ circle.

The infield at Churchill Downs is known for many things: drinking, gambling, crazy hats. But from 1943-1976 it was also known as the site of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s annual Corpus Christi procession. Tote boards that normally showed betting odds were draped in the papal gold and white, altars were set up where the Derby winner was awarded the garland of roses, and tens of thousands of men (women were only allowed as spectators until the last few years) walked carrying parish banners and flags around the infield ahead of the eucharist, brought from nearby Holy Name, and carried in a monstrance under a red and gold canopy by the archbishop. As someone who grew up going to the track with my dad, the grand celebration taught me well that truth about God’s love and God’s presence. If the real presence of Christ could go to a place that Hunter S. Thompson had described as “Decadent and Depraved”  then God’s grace could truly touch every place and every heart.

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