As Fr. Jedidiah and I announced the weekend of December 12th and 13th, 2021 will be a year dedicated to the Eucharist in the Petersburg Parishes. We are extremely excited about the possibilities and graces that will flow from focusing upon the Eucharist. We already have numerous initiatives planned and more on the radar.
I would like to share with you our motivation to dedicate the year to the Eucharist. Maybe we don’t need an excuse to dedicate the year to the Eucharist. After all the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life and the center of our life as Catholics. It seems obvious to every Catholic that the Eucharist is a point of focus.
The coronavirus has heightened our awareness to the importance of the Eucharist. Being separated from Jesus’ sacramental presence in the spring created a hunger for many people. Many of us have returned to the Eucharist with renewed awe and devotion. Hopefully many more will rekindle the love and desire for Jesus in the Eucharist.
During this time some have developed bad habits. Getting out of the routine of going to Mass each week is a slippery slope. It doesn’t take much from going to Mass every week to watching a livestream to apathy for the Eucharist. We don’t just want warm bodies at Mass, God wants hearts aflame for Him! Even before the pandemic many parishioners didn’t come to Mass at all or only on rare occasions. This is not the way God wants it!
In 2019 the Pew Research Center found that only 31% of Catholic believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. 69% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine symbolize the Body and Blood of Christ. This is sad. How can it be that one of the most fundamental teachings of the Church is not believed? We must do everything possible to teach the Biblical foundations of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
During 2021 we are in the “Year B” cycle of the Sunday readings which normally follows the Gospel according to Mark. However in the summer we have five or six Sundays that we hear the Bread of Life Discourse (John 6). This is the important section in which Jesus says “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (verses 54-56). We will capitalize on the Bread of Life Discourse which only appears every three years.
Finally St. Joseph is installing a high altar in the coming months. The Year of the Eucharist will give us an opportunity to catechize about the artwork and beauty that will be utilized to glorify God and form His faithful people.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson
January: Real Presence
February: Incense, Candles (smells & bells at liturgy)
March: St. Joseph & the Eucharist
April: Parts of the Mass I
May: Parts of the Mass II
July: Eucharistic Miracles
August: Receiving Holy Communion
September: Mass Is a Sacrifice
October: Sacred Music
November: Heavenly Liturgy
Gratitude: We are grateful to God for the gift of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
Intentionality: We are more focused in our attention to the Eucharist.
Reverence: We live in awe of the Eucharist which is shown in our behaviors.
Witness: The Eucharist is our strength and motivation to be witnesses to the Gospel.
Tune in to learn the ins and outs of the Mass. Watch the video or listen to the audio from Fr. Sean’s podcast, Homilies and more.
Family Friendly Adoration - Coming February 2nd, 2021
Beginning Tuesday, February 2nd, we will offer Family Friendly Adoration. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed each Tuesday in St. Joseph Church and each Thursday in Immaculate Conception Church. Adoration will begin after the morning Mass and will conclude at 7pm. Families are encouraged to come together to visit Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. This is a wonderful way to introduce children to Adoration! You may come for as long or as little time as your like, even if it’s only 5-10 minutes. Our Lord would love to see you. Restless children are welcome!