This weekend is our last weekend with Father Carlos as our Associate Pastor. Beginning on July 1, 2015 he has been named as the new Pastor of Saint Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church in Stratton, Colorado and as Pastor of Saint Catherine of Sienna Roman Catholic Church in Burlington, Colorado. In addition to those two parishes he will also oversee a Roman Catholic Cemetery and will also take care of several correctional facilities. While I am personally very happy that he has been named as the Pastor of these two parishes with a lot of responsibilities, I am personally very sad to see him move on. Words cannot adequately express my deep appreciation and gratitude for his assignment here for the last four years as well as his being my brother priest here. A few years ago I was so sick and Father Carlos went above and beyond to take care of not only me, but also take care of the parish.
We have traveled a lot by car together going to help hear confessions, or going to conferences or dinners. I very much appreciate Father Carlos’ very keen mind and the wisdom that he has when it comes to pastoral situations and decision making. I also very much appreciate Father Carlos’ great pastoral heart and his willingness to get in the car and go on pastoral emergencies at all hours of the day or night.
I personally ask each and every one of you to pray daily for Father Carlos as he makes this very important transition in his life and ministry. I know that he will do very well in this new assignment.
God Bless you Father Carlos!!! You will be greatly missed!
Today we as a Church celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It is a great day to stop and prayerfully consider the rich Scripture and our Traditions with respect to the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. I would encourage each of you to prayerfully each day read from the Catechism of the Catholic Church – Article 3 (paragraphs 1322 through 1419.) For the next couple of weeks, I will purposely each day ,read a few of the paragraphs, prayerfully reflect on them, and along with them prayerfully read the Scripture references that are located on the bottom of the page. This always gives me a great yearly “retreat on the Eucharist.”
Our Eucharistic Theology is so very rich and abundant. This past Monday we celebrated the Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr. I would encourage you to and see the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic Celebration that we use today. Saint Justin, Martyr wrote his witness in the year 155. In it we have the gathering on Sunday, The readings of Scripture and the memoirs of the apostles, A presider of the Liturgy, a collection for the needy, a Eucharistic Prayer, the assembly acclaiming Amen, and the “Eucharisted” bread taken to those who are absent by the deacons. It is very clear from Saint Justin, Martyr’s words that only those who were baptized and believed in the Real Presence could receive the Eucharist, and assented by the acclamation Amen. Does this sound familiar to you?
I would encourage you to read the Catechism, study Saints like Justin, Martyr, read the pamphlet from the USCCB on the Real Presence and it would be a great time to watch Symbolon part two session two on the Eucharist. The login information is found in the bulletin. I also encourage you to take time to read Catholic Articles on Eucharistic Miracles. As I said at all of the Masses this weekend, I would encourage you to look at the Eucharist through the ‘eyes of four great young people.”
I would encourage you to look up Saint Tarcisius who was a 12 year old boy, entrusted with bringing the Eucharist to a person who could not be at Mass. Tarcisius was beaten and killed by a group that attacked him for not handing over what was in his hand. He died protecting the Eucharist.
I would encourage you to read the story of a 11year old Chinese girl who died protecting the Eucharist after the church was desecrated by militants. She had the great habit of taking time for a “holy hour” and received on the tongue each of the 32 desecrated hosts. On the last night after she received the last consecrated host, she bumped into something and the militant guards found her and beat her to death. She died protecting the Eucharist. Sadly, I can’t find a painting of her and of her heroic love for Jesus Christ. Hearing her story so changed the life of a young seminarian named Fulton Sheen that he decided to each day spend one hour before the Blessed Sacrament – a practice which he continued for the rest of his life.
The picture above is Angelo a 12 year old boy who suffered from Cancer for many years who loved the Eucharist. It gave him great strength to carry the very difficult cross of cancer for many years. He always asked me to say Mass for him, which was a great privilege.
The picture above is Gabriel, a 6 year old boy who suffered from bone cancer. Gabriel so longed for the day in which he would receive his Confirmation and First Holy Communion. Bishop Sheridan was so wonderful about being there for Gabriel’s special day. Look at Gabriel’s eyes- they are focused on the Real Presence of Jesus Christ – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. May our eyes truly be focused on Jesus Christ!
What a great gift the Eucharist is to the life of Christ’s Church and to each of us!
In Christ, Fr. Brad