As a local church, we will have a special morning to celebrate the core truth that “the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.” (CCC 1324.) I invite all Catholics and people of good will to join us at Bishop Noll Institute on Saturday, Aug. 26 for a special day entitled “Inspiring Presence – A Eucharistic Encounter for All Ages.”
The doors will open at 7:30 a.m. and the day will begin with a 9 a.m. Mass celebrated in the fieldhouse for all attendees. At 10:30 a.m., there will be several sessions offered for various ages and language groups.
The main session in English, open to all, will be a presentation given by Dr. Scott Hahn, a noted professor and popular speaker and author. At the same time, there will be a session for young adults offered by Alessandro DiSanto, co-founder of the Hallow app, the No. 1 Prayer App in the world. Our youth session, for those ages 13-17, will be led by Chris Padgett, speaker, musician and author. For children ages 5-12, Holly Cook and Sue Jett will offer the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Hector Molina, a noted Catholic evangelist, will present a session in Spanish on the biblical roots of the Mass. During all the sessions, childcare will be provided for children under 5. The day will end at noon with box lunches.
This will truly be an inspiring gathering to rejoice in the gift of the Eucharist and be renewed in our faith. Please register in advance at: Inspiring Presence | Diocese of Gary (dcgary.org). Conferences such as these help us to appreciate more deeply the beauty of our faith and to join with brothers and sisters throughout the diocese to praise our Lord. Please clear your calendar, register and be ready for a truly inspiring morning.
Our Eucharistic Encounter is also well timed in light of the Holy Father’s prayer intention this month, which emphasizes “encounter”: “Let us pray that Catholics place at the center of their lives the Eucharistic Celebration, which transforms human relationships and opens up an encounter with God and their brothers and sisters.”
Pope Francis issued a beautiful video via the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network to accompany this theme (popesprayer.va). Let’s join with Pope Francis in lifting up this prayer request. I conclude with his words spoken in that video:
If you are the same at the end of Mass as you were at the beginning, something is wrong.
The Eucharist is the presence of Jesus, it is deeply transforming. Jesus comes and must transform you.
In the Eucharist, it is Christ who offers Himself, who gives Himself for us. He invites us, so that our lives may be nourished by Him and may nourish the lives of our brothers and sisters.
The Eucharistic Celebration is an encounter with the Risen Jesus. At the same time, it is a way of opening ourselves to the world as He taught us.
Each time we participate in the Eucharist, Jesus comes and Jesus gives us the strength to love like He loved, because it gives us the courage to encounter others, to go out of ourselves and to open ourselves to others with love.
Let us pray that Catholics place at the center of their lives the Eucharistic Celebration, which transforms human relationships and opens up an encounter with God and their brothers and sisters.
Most Reverend Robert J. McClory
Diocese of Gary