Holy Eucharist

Image of Eucharistic Host held by 2 priest hands over which lies a lamb pierced by a sword with the Dove of the Holy Spirit over itThe Source and Summit of the Catholic Faith

Holy Mass is offered on Saturday at 4:00 p.m., Sunday at 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. and Monday through Thursday at 9:00 a.m.

“Holy Communion is the reception of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. More generally, it is our fellowship and union with Jesus and other baptized Christians in the Church, which has its source and summit in the celebration of the Eucharist. In this sense, Church as communion is the deepest vocation of the Church.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1382, 959  Eucharist is the third sacraments of the Rites of Initiation.

The Catholic Church is comprised of a Eucharistic people.  The word “Eucharist” itself means “thanksgiving” to God.  It recalls “the Jewish blessings that proclaim–especially during a meal–God’s works:  creation, redemption, and sanctification.”  CCC 1328   To that effect, “the other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works” of the people of God “are bound up with the Eucharist and oriented toward it.  For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself…”  CCC 1324

It is this actual meal; not symbolic that defines our faith.  Catholics on Sundays celebrate the Day of the Lord, the holy mass; not a service.  In holy mass, during the bloodless sacrifice of Christ upon the altar, “we already untie ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.”  CCC 1326

Draw Near  The Holy Mass Explained on Video

For adults who are not Catholic or those adults who were baptized Catholic but have never received instruction for Eucharist, the parish offers the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

 

A Personal Encounter with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist

by David

Not long after our marriage in a Catholic church my wife started to attend Holy Rosary more often than not.  And she mentioned that she would like it if I came with her. I thought, what the hell!  This was before I really believed in it…Around the same time a best friend from college asked me to be Godfather to his second child.  This is someone who had turned out to be a respected scientist and professor, and the last person who I thought would become a Christian!  So not really knowing what I was getting into I joined RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) in order to become a Godfather and a Catholic, much to the delight of my wife I might add.

Attending the classes I learned a lot from people who came and spoke and also from reading Scott Hahn books and the Bible.  ..Skepticism about the Church’s teachings about the Eucharist was probably the biggest one.  And even though I felt this way I decided to believe through blind faith and devotion.  I rationally explained it to myself this way:  God is all powerful and can do anything.  Jesus is God and revealed the truth of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, therefore what the Church teaches must be true.  I didn’t have to know how the miracle of transubstantiation worked I just needed to believe that God can do anything.  And for a long time that is how I thought about the Eucharist, even after I was baptized and became part of the Church.

Then I attended a Men’s Cursillo gathering in the Spring of 2012 and during one of the scheduled quiet times I came to a realization that made me think very differently.  I remember as if it were yesterday.  We were all sitting together at Adoration.  The room that we were in had large picture windows along the wall that we were facing, affording us a view onto the wooded area behind the Sarto center.  I remember that it had snowed a few inches the night before and that there was some light fluffy snow on all the branches out in the woods.  The delicate snow was clinging to the stark branches, hanging above the ground, suspended.  I was grateful to God for providing this for us.  And every now and then a slight breeze would blow and some of the snow would trickle off of the branch and down to the awaiting ground below…

Bringing my attention back to the warm room I noticed how we were all sitting quietly, almost expectantly…I spent my time just taking in the scene all around me and then stared at the Monstrance.  Looking up and focusing upon the Host which was displayed I became absorbed by it.  And the more that I looked the more it drew me in.  And I remember sensing that the peace and calm that had engulfed the room was coming from that Holy Host.  It washed me in a feeling of serenity, joy, and forgiveness.  Everything just seemed to be in its proper place and everything instantly came together for me.  It was all coming from the Host!  The peace, the quiet, the calm, the feeling of love, it all emanated from the center of the Monstrance. Light from the candles surrounding it danced on the golden vessel that held the Body of our Lord.  It was as if the Host was speaking to me, opening Itself to me, revealing its Truth to me.  I realized in that moment that the host was in fact the Body of Christ, the manifestation of His essence.  It became so clear to me that this was the miracle that the Church has been teaching for millennia, the truth that Jesus himself inaugurated at the Last Supper…

That experience was the feeling that I had been searching for along my journey back to the Church.  After dealing with all the stresses in the ‘Real World’ for years I had forgotten how good peace and calm felt.  Jesus was waiting for me to discover Him and with the help of those men on that Cursillo weekend I found Him. I realized that He had been available to me all along.  And now I can spend time with Him whenever I wish just by spending time in the Adoration Chapel.  Every time I enter the Adoration Chapel I immediately feel that familiar sense of peace and calm envelop me and I know that He is the source of it all.

And knowing that has brought me to further realizations about Jesus.  I know that He is still with us in this world, watching over us, walking with us everyday and everywhere.  When I first began RCIA I would love to hear the speakers and enjoyed the food that was generously brought in for us.  But as soon as I got home I left all those experiences behind in the church.  Now I know that Jesus is alive and with me.  I call upon Him on my way to work, at work, and with my family.  When I am in comfortable situations I say a little prayer and ask him to help me.  And I always feel His encouragement, His calm, and His peaceful presence within me.

Now during Mass I am sure to dip my hand in the holy water as I enter and Cross myself before finding a pew…And before taking Communion I am sure to ask for forgiveness  for all of my sins and clear my mind.  I want to be focused on the Body and Blood of Christ when I am partaking.  I then return to my seat and feel Jesus’ presence inside of me, healing me, calming me, comforting me.  And finally when I leave at the end of Mass I genuflect again and ask Jesus to come with me throughout the week and to watch over me until I return to church.  And with that I do bring Him with me wherever I go!

 

 Preparation of Children for First Reception of the Eucharist

The preparation process for First Holy Communion affords us an opportunity to help our children form lifelong habits as good Catholics by forming them in prayer and in assisting their comprehension of the amazing grace offered in this sacrament.    At Baptism parents are called to raise their children in the ways of the faith.  First Holy Communion is a continuation of that promise and is, as our catechism states, the “source and summit” of our faith.

When we gather for Holy Mass we are doing just that, gathering.  We are an assembly, a community of believers who need to actively participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  We need to avoid the tendency of being passive. We are joined as the assembly of God to participate in praise and worship. We are called to eat at the table of plenty, to be in common union with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We are all on a journey, and the children are in the beginning stages of theirs as they prepare for First Holy Communion.  Parents, catechists, and the pastor aid the children in their journey of recognizing that this is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ.  It is at Holy Mass that bread and wine are transformed into the Precious Body and Precious Blood of Jesus, and that through Holy Communion He can and will transform us. Preparation will consist of regular mass attendance, class attendance, parent meetings, and a retreat for the children.

Our preparation is geared toward doing all we can to be sure that children and their parents are ready to experience First Holy Communion as the beginning of a lifetime of being nourished at the Lord’s Table.  It is not only about the academics of “making a sacrament” but a very significant amount of importance is placed on the spiritual preparation of the child.  Children learn what they live as the saying goes.  When attending Holy Mass and participating in the Eucharist and Reconciliation are important to you, it will also be important to your child.  For more information on how to enroll your child into faith formation classes.

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