Armed with the image of the Divine Mercy and the relics of St Peter Chanel and Venerable Mother Suzanne Aubert, Whanganui assistant parish priest Fr Nathaniel Brazil walked through the city on April 6, the Monday of Holy Week, praying for an end to the pandemic.
“I saw videos from other parts of the world where they processed the Blessed Sacrament around parishes. I thought of doing this to ask God for mercy and for him to spare the country, especially the parish,” Fr Brazil told NZ Catholic.
In the video, Fr Brazil jokingly said many parishioners have urged him to do more exercise and so he was going for a walk, but was putting a religious twist on it.
He walked to the Whanganui River first, then to Taupo Quay, Ridgway Street, the Whanganui District Council, finally circling back to St Mary’s Catholic Church.
He said the locations had particular significance to the parish. “(I chose to stop at) the Whanganui District Council because they are governing us, then at the busiest part of the town, and ended at the church which is the hub of our faith,” he said.
At each stop, he prayed one decade of the chaplet of mercy offering it for the sick, the dead, those affected by the pandemic in other ways, the health workers and the Church.
“I prayed not only for the sick, but also for those who have emotional and financial worries caused by this pandemic,” he said.