Letters to the Editor

The ‘Other’ Woodside Parish

Dear Editor: “Corpus Christi in Woodside” read the headline (June 6). I was excited to read an article which I presumed would be about my parish, Corpus Christi in Woodside but, alas, the article was about the celebration of the Corpus Christi feast in St. Sebastian’s parish.

Oh well, I thought. Next week they’ll surely have an article about us.

Our parish feast day dawned sunny and cool, a perfect day for a Mass concelebrated by Bishop Chappetto, our pastor Father Patrick West, and the other priests of our parish, assisted by our deacon and enhanced by the music supplied by our combined choirs, including our bell choir, led by talented music director, Matthew LaBanca.

The beautiful Mass was followed by a procession with the Blessed Sacrament, which included stops at three altars en route, each representing a different segment of our parish demographic, English-speaking, Spanish-speaking and Tagalog-speaking (Filipino). At each altar, the hundreds of parishioners in attendance sang a hymn in the appropriate language and prayed aloud as the bishop blessed the crowd with the monstrance in hand.

The spiritual celebration of our parish feast day concluded with a social gathering in the schoolyard, featuring finger food and beverages.  All attendees seemed to agree that it had been a glorious event, a suitable celebration for a parish where perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has taken place for years, having been instituted by our former pastor, Father Peter Gillen. The adoration chapel draws several hundred adorers weekly, quite a feat for a small parish such as ours.

Considering the size and spirit of our feast day commemoration, the presence of our beloved Bishop Chappetto, as well as the fact that it is our parish feast day, I was quite sure that The Tablet would feature our parish in its June 13 issue. I opened the edition with great anticipation. The front cover touted a double page spread on diocesan celebrations of the feast. Ah, here it is…”Corpus Christi in Woodside” read the headline (again)!!!  The text began, “A Corpus Christi procession was conducted (yes, yes, I thought!) in St. Sebastian’s parish…”!!!

Perhaps publication of this letter will shed some light on the eucharistic devotion that exists on the north end of Woodside.