Congratulations to all our graduates from St. Peter and St. Charles! Know of our prayers for you as you step forward into the future with hope and faith. May the Holy Spirit guide you in all your endeavors!
This past week the priests of the diocese gathered for our annual Priest Unity Days in La Crosse. It is an opportunity for all of us to spend some time together, reflect on our common ministry, and support and encourage one another. I had some time to meet with Deacon Charlie Richmond, who upon his ordination to the priesthood at the end of June, will be assigned to our parishes and as chaplain to MACS. I’m looking forward to having the future “Father” Charlie join us, and trust that you will help me welcome him when he arrives in July.
This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). It is an opportunity for us as a Church to celebrate the Lord’s Real Presence with us in the holy Eucharist. The feast was instituted at a time when the truth of Christ’s Eucharistic presence was being disputed. Some erroneously believed that the Lord’s presence was of a spiritual nature only; that the elements of bread and wine remained bread and wine after the consecration. Today’s feast was instituted to reaffirm the Church’s faith that the very substance of bread and wine is changed into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. In other words, while the outward appearance of bread and wine remain, the elements are really and truly Jesus Christ.
Therefore, the worship we give to the Eucharistic elements is the worship we give to God alone. That is why we bend our knee (genuflect) upon entering the church or passing before the tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. It is an acknowledgement of the Lord’s Real Presence among us. When I was growing up our mom taught us to sign ourselves with the Cross whenever we passed a Catholic church for the same reason – our Lord was truly present there.
An important element of today’s feast is a procession with the Blessed Sacrament. Such processions are meant to be a joyful sign of our faith in the holy Eucharist and a public witness to Christ. Our deanery will hold a Eucharistic procession today (Sunday) beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Holy Ghost church. I invite you to join us – it is a great opportunity for families to walk together with Jesus and our brothers and sisters in faith!