The Eucharist in This Time of National Eucharistic Revival

I am sure, by now, you are aware, our diocese is transforming itself to grow deeper with Jesus Christ through all of us understanding what it means to be a grateful disciple who shows gratitude by the way we use our gifts of time, talent and treasure, living as good stewards. I am so grateful that in our first week of Catholic Stewardship Renewal, we received 127 returned packets. That’s awesome and I know many more will be completed and returned.

While the diocese is embarking on this transformation in which St Vincent de Paul is a part, we are also engaging in our second phase of the diocesan Pastoral Plan. This pastoral plan informs our parish pastoral plan. Remember, our three goals for our parish are: engaging our young people to be part of all the ministries offered at St Vincent de Paul; adult formation with a focus on families with children; and a comprehensive communication plan. In some areas of these parish plans we have met success and in others, we still have a lot of opportunities for growth. The Kingdom of Heaven is always being built, so we continue on; we don’t rest and we celebrate our accomplishments along the way. The goals of the Deanery Pastoral Plan that is underway includes: sharing best practices on how sacramental preparation and liturgical ministries are taught (who teaches, what resources, and when do they teach); assisting our clergy to prevent burn out by allowing the laity, in cooperation with the priests, to do the work of a thriving parish; forming our laity in the ministries in which they are paid or volunteer so they are of the same mind and heart as the Roman Catholic Church. Currently, our deanery is in the research phase of what all of our parishes are doing for formation of the sacraments. This is the work of our Southwest Deanery. The other four deaneries are working on their own deanery pastoral plans. These five deanery pastoral plans will influence the next phase of the diocesan pastoral plan.

While all of this is in full force, there is a National Eucharistic Revival underway. We were already part of it when we made our Corpus Christi Procession this past summer from St Patrick to the courthouse and back to St Patrick on Corpus Christi Sunday. This summer, God willing, we will have a new priest for our diocese from our own parish, currently, Deacon Christopher Hoffmann. His first weekend as a priest will be Corpus Christi Weekend! Then, on the first of July 2024, we will receive the monstrance with Jesus that is traveling across the United States. We will receive the Blessed Sacrament approximately 6pm July 1 and have a program that will last until 9pm that evening. Then, on July 2, we will have a morning Mass at Sacred Heart and have a grand procession to St Patrick where there will be more prayer. Then, we will continue the grand procession for one mile down the Katy Trail as the delegation makes their way to Pilot Grove. There will be more to come in the future on this initiative, but I wanted you to know now this summer is going to be intensive on our Eucharistic Revival.

This Sunday, many of the children of our parish are receiving Reconciliation for the first time today. I hope many of you join them for this important sacrament so they know that this is not something they will grow out of, that it’s for all the children of God, of all ages. Once they receive their first Reconciliation, it will not be long before their catechists begin teaching them about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Over the next few bulletin fronts, I will catechize on the Eucharist. Today, I tie it into stewardship. We give a grateful response to all God has given us. Can we think of anything more to be grateful for than our heavenly father sending his infinite Son into the world to show us how to live, die for our sins, rise to new life and continue to give us his infinite self in such an intimate way that he calls us to consume him in the Eucharist? The only way we can contain infinity is to give him away by the way we live our lives as a Eucharistic people. We will reflect on that together over the next few bulletin fronts. Until then, go to reconciliation and pray about the Eucharist with the words of St. Augustine, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief!”