Dear Parish Family:
What a blessing last weekend was for our parish and Archdiocese—the ordinations of Fr. Matthew Perronie, son of St. Malachy parish, and Fr. Michael Clawson, future associate pastor of St. Malachy parish, starting July 6!
There is a saying, “No priests, No Eucharist!” It is very true. We must promote vocations to the priesthood and pray to the good Lord to send these laborers into the vineyard or we will not have the Mass and Eucharist (Blessed Sacrament).
This idea that the priesthood is grounded in “Apostolic Succession”—the idea that our sacraments are valid and effective since the spiritual authority was passed on from generation to generation from the Apostles themselves through Holy Orders—helps us to understand that the Eucharist is NOT just a sign or symbol but truly GOD Himself—the Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus Christ!
If it were merely a sign or symbol of God or God’s love, then the priesthood would not be necessary and how we celebrate the Mass would be trivial. But, that’s not what we believe. We believe something powerful and effective is happening when Mass is celebrated properly by a validly ordained priest—that Jesus becomes truly present in the bread and wine. It may look and taste like bread and wine but is not that anymore. It is truly Jesus.
So, it has been very disheartening to our bishops and other Church leaders to see recent pew studies that state 70% of Catholics do not believe this fundamental belief of our faith that Jesus Christ becomes truly present in the holy Eucharist.
I think this is why the United States bishops are inaugurating a three year national “Eucharistic Revival” beginning next weekend—June 18-19, 2022—on the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (“Corpus Christi”). This Eucharistic Revival is meant to renew our understanding of what we have in the Eucharist, what our dispositions to this most Blessed Sacrament ought to be, and how it should shape and affect our relationships to one another and in the Church.
Archbishop Thompson is having several events on Sunday, June 19, to initiate the Eucharistic Revival in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis including a special Mass at the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul, a Eucharistic Procession from the Cathedral to St. John the Evangelist, and Eucharistic Adoration at St. John’s. You can check out the details on the Archdiocesan website or at eucharisticrevivalindy.org.
This first year will be focused on the (arch)diocese. Our “local Church” is the Archdiocese of Indianapolis; and over this first year, there will be an emphasis on what that means and how the Eucharist influences our participation in the life and mission of the (arch)diocese. The second year will focus on the parish. Our parish is one of many within the Archdiocese of Indianapolis; and by keeping the Eucharist at the center of our lives in our parish, it drives everything else we do to build up the Body of Christ in our local Church. The third year will have a national focus beginning with a “National Eucharistic Congress” here in Indianapolis in July 2024. Over the following year, the focus will be on how our identity in the Eucharistic Lord Jesus makes us better citizens of our nation and drives our unity in national efforts to build up God’s kingdom here on earth.
This is an exciting time for our Catholic Church here in the United States. I hope you enter into these three years with openness, love, and devotion. The Second Vatican Council was famous for stating: “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.” If we get the Eucharist right, everything else begins to fall into place. There is always room for conversion and renewal of our minds and hearts to better understand this infinite good God gives us—the gift of Himself!
Stay tuned for more details as we enter into this first year—the Diocesan Campaign towards a Eucharistic Revival.
In Jesus, through Mary and St. Joseph,