This past Monday through Wednesday we had our Catholic Vacation Bible Camp. It was a wonderful time of learning about Jesus Christ who is truly present to us Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist.
We taught our children to revere the Lord and how to pray in these forms: Praise, Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Making this into an acronym ―P.A.C.T.S.‖ it is an easy way to remember how to spend time praying to God, especially during Eucharistic Adoration.
The parish and the family are called to be schools of prayer, and so the goal is to continue to help our students learn to pray through, with and in Jesus Christ, especially through song and adoration. With many fantastic volunteers (and your prayers and support!) we had 5 Stations set up for groups of children ages pre-k to 6th grade. One station was Adoration – how to pray in those five forms (PACTS); another station was Story Telling – learning about Blessed Carlo Acutis and his profound love for Christ in the Eucharist. He died at age 15 in 2006 and was declared a ―Blessed‖ by Pope Francis on Oct. 10, 2020; Arts and Crafts – where the children build small models of a tabernacle and a monstrance, things that hold Jesus in the Eucharist; Outdoor games; and a Rosary Station, where the campers focused on the Luminous mysteries which includes when Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the Ordained Priesthood at the Last Supper.
We are so fortunate to have such a supportive and prayerful community. We hope that those who are in their twilight years know how much we appreciate their humble but powerful prayers and generous support in order to pass on the faith for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Jesus calls us to the humility that brings service and life to others, especially through the holy sacrifice of his Body and Blood in the Eucharist at Mass.
The following is a summary of St. John Paul II‘s Encyclical Letter, Ecclesia De Eucharistia – The Church of the Eucharist.
In Chapter I, ―The Mystery of Faith,‖ we learn that Jesus is the Eucharist, the center of our faith; because he has given himself and all that he has done in the celebration of the Eucharist. We are called to give ourselves completely to Jesus Christ by professing and living the totality of our Catholic faith.
In Chapter II, ―The Eucharist Builds the Church,‖ we learn that all who partake of Christ are built up in faith, hope and love, because it is the sign of our unity with Jesus Christ and everything he has taught us through his Catholic Church.
Chapter III, ―The Apostolicity of the Eucharist and of the Church,‖ refers to the fact that the Lord Jesus entrusted the Eucharist to the Apostles, ―Do this in memory of me,‖ and sent the Holy Spirit upon them to carry out their apostolic mission to the Church of which she ―continues to be taught, sanctified and guided by the Apostles until Christ‘s return, through their successors in pastoral office: the college of Bishops assisted by priests, in union with the Successor of Peter, the Church‘s supreme pastor.
Chapter IV, ―The Eucharist and Ecclesial Communion‖ outlines Christ‘s discipline of being visibly in union with the Catholic Church as well as spiritually through charity in order to receive the Eucharist. That is to say, we must be free of any contrary belief, serious sin and have fasted one hour from any food, gum and drink (except water and medicine) before receiving Holy Communion.
Chapter V, ―The Dignity of the Eucharistic Celebration,‖ is an account of the simplicity and solemnity of Jesus‘ self-gift to us in the Eucharist. ―The Eucharistic Banquet is truly a ‗sacred‘ banquet, in which the simplicity of the signs conceals the unfathomable holiness of
God.‖ This truth has inspired authentic art and a Christian culture of beauty of which the shepherds of the Church must continue to guide, especially with regard to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. ―Liturgy is never anyone‘s private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated.‖ We humbly receive what Christ has won for us by his death and resurrection. Chapter VI, ―At the School of Mary, ‗Woman of the
Eucharist‘‖ completes this beautiful letter because she is the complete disciple of Christ. God chose Mary who perfectly followed God‘s plan and so received Christ as the first living tabernacle, gave him back to God at the foot of the cross and offered herself up to God from whom eternal life, love and wisdom flow.
May we be like that humble disciple, Mary, in worshipping and adoring Jesus Christ who is God Incarnate in the living and Holy Eucharist.
God bless those 45+ Bible Camp young disciples and their families, and God bless and thanks to all those elderly members of our parish community who have been steadfast in living, praying and passing on the faith with their many years of service and generosity.
Peace in the Eucharistic Lord, the Risen Jesus Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe