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The Proper Role of Eucharistic Ministers

Extraordinary-Minister-660x350-1438857588Every three years as the Church is reading the Gospel of Mark, during the dog days of summer it stops for five weeks and turns instead to the Gospel of John for instruction on the Eucharist. We began this process July 26 with the account of the sign of the multiplication of the loaves, and will continue it August 2 and 9 as we make our way through Jesus’ “Bread of Life” discourse.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article in these pages about the ongoing abuse of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, a phenomenon that become de facto established in the Church in the United States, clear norms of the Holy See notwithstanding. I have long maintained that this phenomenon feeds the vocation crisis by dissociating priesthood from Communion. I also began to argue in that earlier piece that the ongoing abuse of extraordinary ministers engrains the functionalist and utilitarian mindset at the expense of symbolism. The functionalist/utilitarian mindset is so corrosive to modern mentality especially, e.g., in sexual ethics. In the present case, it reduces the symbolic act of the pastor who is “feeding my sheep” to a pragmatic act of “let’s get this done so as not to ‘unduly prolong’ Mass.” No wonder, then, that parenthood is also being progressively parceled up into generative, gestational, and upbringing “functions.” Priests, by neglecting the symbolic role of their spiritual paternity in feeding their people, do something analogous.

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Little Known Eucharistic Miracle in Alberta

st-joseph-church-mission-cowley-albertaOn July 18, 1946, Father Gino C. Violini stood before a small wooden church in a little town nestled in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies in Southern Alberta. St. Joseph's was a forlorn, nearly-abandoned little mission church.

A small group of people gathered around this man dressed in mourning. They said they didn't need a priest; Cowley didn't need a priest, and if it ever came to pass that they needed one, they would inform Bishop Carroll of the fact. Furthermore, they didn't want to see him reading his breviary, and he could get rid of that cassock.

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The Virgin Mother, Adorer of the Eucharistic Face of Christ

Inexhaustible-ChaliceCalling our attention to the presence of the Mother of God in every celebration of the Holy Sacrifice, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Mary is present, with the Church and as the Mother of the Church, at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist. If the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist. This is one reason why, since ancient times, the commemoration of Mary has always been part of the Eucharistic celebrations of the Churches of East and West.”

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The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist

sacred-heart-is-the-eucharistDevotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus goes back to the early Church in the time of Divine Revelation. Like all other true devotion in the Catholic Church, devotions to the Sacred Heart is based on divine revealed truth.

Two passages in Sacred Scripture are the revealed foundations for the Sacred Heart devotion. The first is Christ's invitation to His followers, "Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart." The second revealed foundation is Christ's Sacred Heart being pierced on the cross by the soldier's lance. From the very beginning, the followers of Christ were devoted to the Heart of Jesus. Our focus will be on what we mean when we say the Sacred Heart is the Holy Eucharist. Then, we shall discuss why this is so and how we can put Sacred Heart devotion into practice.

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The Holy Eucharist And Salvation by Faith

pope-franics-eucharist-monstranceMan believes, in faith, that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and acts upon that faith by receiving the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Communion. The Holy Eucharist is the central reality of all human experience.

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Did you know St. Damien of Molokai was a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary which grew as a spiritual response to the 'terror' of the French Revolution? The congregation's full title reads -- ...of Perpetual Adoratio ...

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