My Dear Friends,
The Eucharist. I have said this often: there is nothing that we do in our parish that is more important than the celebration of the Mass. Today, on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, we celebrate Christ’s Real Presence at the altar every time we gather to celebrate the Mass. We celebrate that everything we do as a parish, all our ministries and all our charitable endeavors, flow from that altar and return to it. As the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church remind us: Everything we do flows from the Eucharist and everything flows back to it. It is indeed the “source and summit of Christian life (CCC 1324).”
As many of you know, we are in the midst of a great National Eucharistic Revival meant to deepen our love for the Eucharist. This past week, our parish spent 40 hours straight adoring the Lord. Not only this past week, but every day, people come to our church or to our Adoration Chapel to kneel before the Eucharistic Lord and delight in his presence. There before Jesus we can place our problems and anxieties at his feet. We can sit in silence and listen to Him speak to us. We can raise our arms in praise and thanksgiving because, even though we sometimes have trouble finding them, He has bestowed countless gifts and blessings upon us. The first being that He has not left us alone. We are not orphans. He continues to be present at every altar and every tabernacle in the world. This should bring us great consolation that no matter how far we may travel this summer, we can always find the Lord when we walk into a Catholic church.
Today is a day for celebration and public profession of our love for the Eucharist, but it should also be a day in which we commit ourselves to learning more about the importance of the Eucharist in our faith. Bishop Robert Barron wrote a magnificent book called “This is My Body: A Call to Eucharistic Revival.” It’s a short book that we wanted to have in your hands today for Corpus Christi, but the overwhelming demand for the book has delayed its shipping into the summer. That’s a good thing because people are clamoring to learn more! So, we hope to have the books delivered later this summer, and we will distribute them on Catechetical Sunday which falls on Sunday, September 17, which is a most appropriate day, plus we will all be back from summer travels.
Speaking of summer travels, on Thursday I will be departing with a group of 40 pilgrims from our parish to travel to France, where next Sunday we will be celebrating Mass in the Basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux. Please know that we take all of your intentions with us to present before our beloved patroness.
Finally, this is a bittersweet week for us in the parish office. Our long-time office manager and my administrative assistant, Maria Elena Chialastri, is retiring after 30 years of service to our community. She was first hired by Fr. Ken Whitaker and has worked for five different pastors. Beyond assisting the pastors, she had the delicate job of being the first person our brides talked to when they called to schedule a wedding. Always with grace and charity, there was never a schedule snafu, never a complaint, and she made sure the trains ran on time here at Little Flower. She quietly went about her work not expecting praise, but fully knowing that her work, her ministry helped bring people closer to Christ whether it was scheduling a sacrament, scheduling a retreat, or scheduling an appointment so that a parishioner could speak to a priest. Thank you, Mari, for serving your parish which we know you will continue to do well into retirement. Enjoy your grandchildren, enjoy your travels, and on behalf of my four immediate predecessors, thank you for helping us keep our hands firmly on the wheel of this great ship as we lead God’s people towards Him. Your parish and your fellow parishioners thank you!
God Bless You All,