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By Catholic Answers - www.catholic.com/tracts

Protestant attacks on the Catholic Church often focus on the Eucharist. This demonstrates that opponents of the Church—mainly Evangelicals and Fundamentalists—recognize one of Catholicism’s core doctrines. What’s more, the attacks show that Fundamentalists are not always literalists. This is seen in their interpretation of the key biblical passage, chapter six of John’s Gospel, in which Christ speaks about the sacrament that will be instituted at the LastSupper. This tract examines the last half of that chapter.

On Sunday, October 7, Archbishop Coakley, Rev. Gerard MacAulay, Rev. Marvin Leven, Rev. Stephen Bird, Rev. Philip Louis, Deacon Max Schwarz, and Deacon John Teague celebrated the 125th Anniversary of Holy Trinity Parish.  Mass was celebrated followed by a catered luncheon in the parish hall.  Our thanks go out to everyone involved in this event!!

 

<p> 

Year

 

Priest

 

 

 

1893 (spring)

 

 

1894 (Jan.)

 

Rev. A. G. Borremans

1894 - 1898

 

Rev. Frederick Van der Aa

1898 - 1902

 

Priest travels twice/month

1902 (Sept.)

 

Rev. Charles Van Hulse

1902 (Nov.)

 

Msgr. Zenon Steber 

1944

 

Rev. Francis B. Warnke

1947 (Sept.)


1967

 

Rev. Edmund Von Elm


Rev. Meis

1975

 

Rev. Charles Beckman

1987

 

Rev. Alan Loth

1989

 

Rev. Marvin Leven

1994

 

Rev. Paul Mollan

1995

 

Rev. Ed Weisenburger

2002

 

Rev. Stephen Bird

2005

 

Rev. Phillip Louis

2008

 

Rev. Arul Aundaraj Pudhota

2010

 

Rev. David M. Lafferty

2011

 

Rev. Sam Licanda

2012

 

Rev. Billy Lewis

2014

 

Rev. John Peter Swaminathan

2018

 

Rev. A. Gerard MacAulay

     

 

Archbishop Coakley announces review, reporting plan for past allegations of abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY – Archbishop Paul Coakley on Wednesday announced the archdiocese’s plan for reviewing and reporting all past allegations of child sexual abuse by priests. The first report will include a review of files from 1960-2018. 

  
The review will include all instances where credible allegations of child sexual abuse were reported, substantiated, prosecuted or admitted to among priests serving in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Once complete, the report will be made available to the public on the archdiocesan website – www.archokc.org
  
“This is a very dark moment in the history of our beautiful, but wounded, Catholic Church. We are called to prayer and penance for the purification of the Church and our bishops and priests must set the example. It calls for a renewed commitment to vigilance, transparency and accountability from our shepherds and indeed for the whole Church,” said the Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City. “An internal and independent review of previous allegations is a good place to start. No matter how painful this process may become, I am committed to reviewing and sharing the specifics of these cases.” 
  
Archbishop Coakley and Chancellor Michael Scaperlanda presented the plan Wednesday to the Archdiocesan Review Board. The board was created in 2002 as part of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and consists of mostly lay faithful. 
  
William Shaw, chairman of the review board, said board members approved the plan and were grateful the diocese was beginning the process. 
  
The plan will include: 
  
- A review by the chancellor of every priest’s file – active and inactive – for priests who have served in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City since 1960 (Prior to 1972 it was the Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa); 
  
- Any file with an allegation of abuse of a minor or an abuse of power in a sexual relationship will be turned over to Ron Shinn, an attorney in the law firm of McAfee and Taft, for review; 
  
- As an expert in internal institutional investigations, Shinn and his associates will conduct an independent review of the files and investigate further, if necessary; 
  
- Once all files have been reviewed, McAfee and Taft will issue a report with the facts of each case and provide an analysis of how the archdiocese handled the matters over the years; 
  
- Investigators also will provide recommendations; 
  
- The report will be published online, and a copy sent to all priests, deacons and parish staff. 
  
The initial report is expected to be completed in 10 to 12 weeks. A second report, reviewing files prior to 1960 will follow. 
  
To report incidences of abuse in the past or present, contact the Abuse of Minors Pastoral Response Hotline at (405) 720-9878. Under Oklahoma law, all individuals must report an incident or suspicion of sexual abuse of a minor (person under age 18) to civil authorities. 

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has established a statewide abuse reporting hotline – (800) 522-3511. A report to the archdiocese does not relieve the individual of the duty to report child abuse to civil authorities as required by state law. 

For more information on the Safe Environment protocol in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, go online tohttps://archokc.org/safe-environment

To read recent statements from Archbishop Coakley, visit https://archokc.org/news-releases

In light of the recent scandals, I know many people are wondering whether they should remain in the Catholic Church. And I totally get that; the outrage is warranted.

But in this time of crisis, I beg you not to flee, but to fight--not violently, with the weapons of the world, but with the weapons of the Spirit. We need you.
                       
WATCH VIDEO HERE




September
 17, 2018
by Eliana Tedrow
On Sept. 23, 2017, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, celebrated the Rite of Beatification for Blessed Stanley Rother during a Beatification Mass in downtown Oklahoma City. Blessed Stanley Rother is the first martyr for the United States and the first U.S.-born priest to be beatified. 
  
Blessed Stanley Rother is one step away from being canonized and officially recognized as a saint worthy of universal veneration within the Catholic Church. 
  
The Church’s canonization process is complex and thorough. The Church has official procedures toward declaring sainthood: a candidate becomes “venerable,” then “blessed,” then “saint.” 
  
Because Blessed Stanley was declared a martyr, only one verifiable miracle is needed to declare him a saint. 
  
Deacon Norman Mejstrik is director of the Office for the Cause of Canonization of Blessed Stanley Rother. He said his office has received several reports of favors, which have been reviewed and documented. 
  
The most common type of favor is medical since it is easier to document. There is typically a diagnosis, then a prognosis and some type of therapy. After there has been an effort to cure the patient without success, a favor is asked through intercession that leads to the patient being cured. 
  
“A cure is considered complete if it is lasting and inexplicable by all scientific means,” Mejstrik said. “There must be no medical explanation why the person was cured.” 
  
Mejstrik encouraged anyone who has prayed for the intercession of Blessed Stanley Rother and received a favor to report it to his office or online. 
  
“If it appears to be of interest, we collect physician statements that testify that there is no medial explanation. We collect medical records, tests and anything else needed,” he said. 
  
Reports of miracles are first reviewed locally by doctors, then theologically by the archdiocese. If they are deemed to fit the requirements, the archdiocese submits the favor to Rome, where a panel studies the materials and written reports. 
  
Archbishop Coakley asked the faithful to pray for Blessed Stanley’s intercession. Prayer cards are available in English and Spanish through the Cause office or at the Blessed Stanley Rother Gift Shop at the Catholic Pastoral Center in Oklahoma City. 
  
Eliana Tedrow is a freelance writer for the Sooner Catholic. 
 

Report favors online at blessedstanleyrother.org or contact the Office of the Cause of Canonization of Bl. Stanley Rother at (405) 721-5651.

 

August 22, 2018
by Diane Clay
OKARCHE – More than 600 parishioners and visitors gathered July 28 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Okarche to celebrate the first feast day for Blessed Stanley Rother, a missionary priest from Oklahoma martyred for his faith in Guatemala in 1981. They were joined by thousands more watching online or celebrating Blessed Stanley in their home parishes in Oklahoma, Guatemala, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Maryland and elsewhere.
 
The anniversary Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Paul Coakley, Archbishop Emeritus Eusebius Beltran and Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen as well as several priests, including Fr. Gerard MacAuley, administrator of Holy Trinity, and Fr. Don Wolf, pastor of Saint Eugene and cousin of Blessed Stanley.
 
Seated in the first few rows were Blessed Stanley’s family, including his brother, Tom Rother, and sister, Sister Marita Rother, A.S.C. 
 
“This evening we are not here to celebrate Father Rother’s death. We’re here for something much greater, something much more important. We’re here to celebrate his birth; his birth into heaven,” Archbishop Coakley said during his homily.
 
“The Church chose to raise him up and to honor him as a witness, as a model, as an example for veneration and to show us a real flesh and blood life lived in service to the Gospel and fidelity to Jesus Christ. We give praise and thank God for his life as we seek his intercession.”  
 
Blessed Stanley’s feast day will be celebrated each year throughout the Oklahoma City Province, which includes the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the Diocese of Tulsa and the Diocese of Little Rock. The Diocese of Sololá in Guatemala also received permission to celebrate the feast day. Eventually, other dioceses in the United States and elsewhere may celebrate the day.
 
On July 28, 1981, Father Rother was murdered in his rectory at the Oklahoma mission in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.   
 
Blessed Stanley’s body was returned to Oklahoma and is buried in a crypt in the chapel at Resurrection Memorial Cemetery in Oklahoma City. His heart remained in Guatemala and is enshrined at Saint James. Eventually, Blessed Stanley will be buried in a new shrine and church being built at S.E. 89 and Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City.
 
“We are so blessed to be the home parish of Blessed Stanley and his family. To share in this experience and honor such an amazing and humble man has been inspiring,” said Nancy Schudalla, administrative assistant for Holy Trinity. “While we have honored the anniversary of his martyrdom each year, this year’s celebration was special. To see hundreds of parishioners and visitors come together to celebrate with our small community is a testament to the life and witness of Blessed Stanley.”
To learn more about Blessed Stanley and the upcoming shrine, go online to blessedstanleyrother.org.
 
Diane Clay is editor of the Sooner Catholic.

On Saturday, July 28, Archbishop Coakley, Archbishop Emeritus Beltran, Abbot Lawrence along with priests from the Archdiocese, Deacons, seminarians, religious, family members, visitors & parishioners celebrated the first Feast Day of Blessed Stanley Rother.  An overflow of parishioners and visitors gathered for the liturgy including the Fourth Degree Knights honor guard, the Oklahoma City Guatemalan community and the Rother Men, who rode in their first Rosary Rally from Norman to Okarche.

Thank you to everyone who made this event memorable and beautiful.



 

Historic beatification held in Oklahoma 

On Friday, October 5, there was a blessing of the pets held on the church lawn for Holy Trinity school children and parishioners.
This blessing is held in honor of St. Francis of Assisi's feast day.

 

God's abundant blessings on you as you begin a new year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have Guatemalan coffee for sale. It is $15 a bag for one pound ground coffee. All profits benefit the mission in Guatemala and our Religious Education program. Please contact Keri at (405)818-2444.

 OSV Newsweekly

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis would convene the presidents of the world’s episcopal conferences in Rome from Feb. 21-24 for a meeting dedicated to the issue of abuse in the Church. As many have demanded decisive action around recent scandals and crises, including the McCarrick revelations and the Pennsylvania grand jury report, the announcement of this gathering — slated to occur five months from now — might seem underwhelming, an example of just more talk. But this is where it’s important to understand how this pope views his role and ministry as successor of Peter.

With Pope Francis hearing from the presidents of conferences, laypeople who want to be heard must convey their concerns to their own bishops, who must likewise be candid with Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The call from the pews must not be ambiguous, and it must be communicated fervently. Bishops must be as equipped as possible with the sensus fidei (sense of the faith) to make the most of the model Pope Francis has invited them into.

In Episcopalis Communio, Pope Francis says a bishop must be “simultaneously a teacher and a disciple,” the latter requiring him to listen to what the Holy Spirit has inspired the laity to tell him. The five months till this meeting occurs are critical. Laypeople who want their Church to round a definitive corner on sexual abuse must speak out. They must continue to demand zero tolerance, full transparency, accountability and an end to the structures and practices that allowed abuse and cover-up to fester and perpetuated a Church where laypeople are seen as less than full members of the Body of Christ.

Lean in, laypeople. This won’t work without you.

OSV Editorial Board: Don Clemmer, Gretchen R. Crowe, Scott Richert, York Young 

READ FULL ARTICLE

Jesus is 'right here in this mess': A way forward for Catholics 

Gretchen R. Crowe OSV Newsweekly

8/22/2018

 

It’s hard to believe it has come to this. Father Basil Hutsko of St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church in Merrillville, Indiana, was attacked and knocked unconscious in the sacristy after celebrating Divine Liturgy at the end of August. According to a letter from another priest, before losing consciousness, Father Basil heard his attacker say, “This is for all the kids,” presumably a reference to the recently released Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing horrific acts of clergy sexual abuse against minors in six dioceses in the state.

The letter, written by Father Thomas J. Loya, was careful to stress that Father Basil was “a random target. He is NOT guilty of any sex abuse.”

As horrible and unjust as this act was, it also illustrates another important and dangerous point: People are angry, and they don’t know what to do with that anger. Even many faithful Catholics — especially on the heels of the scandal surrounding Archbishop Theodore McCarrick — are wondering angrily: Where do we go from here?

I had the opportunity to ask that question recently to Father Thomas Berg, author of “Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward For Wounded Catholics,” for a podcast. Following is his answer, slightly edited for clarity and space, and I hope it is helpful.

“(We need) to remember that the Church is more than derelict priests who have been predators and exploited innocent people. The Church is so much more than inept, cowardly bishops who failed to act. The Church is so much more than the institutional elements that can fail. The Church is, yes, it’s an institutional reality, but first and foremost it’s a spiritual reality. It’s both of those things together.

“We need to go back to the truths of the Faith ... . We need to go back and relish the experience of the Holy Spirit’s powerful actions in the sacraments in our lives. I’ve been telling so many people: you want to do something about this mess? Go to Eucharistic adoration. Go spend time just soaking up the presence of Jesus and offering that up. Go to Jesus. He’s ultimately the answer here. We need to go back to that radical personal experience of our Lord who, not in spite of our wounds and our misery, but precisely because of our wounds and our misery, as members of his mystical body, ... comes to us.

“Jesus always wants to get into the messiness of our lives, and he’s right here, he’s right here in this mess, and he is going to purify his bride the Church. He is going to bring good from evil.

“Catholics need to learn at times to step away, especially if we’re really following this stuff. We need to get off the Twitter feed, stop reading story after story, and we need to go back, and we need to pray. We need to go to adoration, we need to spend time. We need to look for silence and quiet and bring that to this experience. I think that’s really at the heart of our way forward here.”

Listen to entire interview with Father Thomas Berg here.

Gretchen R. Crowe is editor-in-chief of OSV Newsweekly. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.

 

How to build a relationship with Christ 

Three prominent Catholic personalities explain why getting to know Jesus on a personal level is essential to our faith 

Paul Senz OSV Newsweekly

3/14/2018

Jesus Christ, through his life, death and resurrection, reconciled the world to God and saved us from sin. Beyond this, is it still necessary to have a personal relationship with him? Several Catholic speakers and writers explain why it is of crucial importance.

Never fulfilled without Christ’

Teresa Tomeo is a syndicated Catholic talk-show host, author of numerous books and an international speaker. She is the host of a weekday morning radio program, “Catholic Connection,” and is a columnist for OSV Newsweekly. She is also a host of the EWTN television series “The Catholic View for Women” as well as the author of a new book titled “Beyond Sunday: Becoming a 24/7 Catholic” (OSV, $14.95).

Building a relationship with Jesus is critically important, Tomeo said, something to which everyone needs to strive. “We were made for relationship,” Tomeo said. “First with God and then with each other. Who better to have a strong relationship with than the one who knows us so intimately because he created us?”

Something — or, more accurately, someone — will be missing in our lives if we don’t have that relationship with God first, she said. “We may have good marriages and numerous friends, but we are never completely fulfilled without Christ.” Tomeo said she once had everything that is supposed to make us happy: success, material possessions, good friends and family. “But I was still empty inside until I made my way back to the Church and into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Tomeo offers four potential first steps for those trying to build a stronger relationship with Jesus.

1. Surrender daily: Tomeo points out that in our me-first world, the concept of surrender has an extremely negative connotation; but we must offer our lives to God’s will, not our own, to be fully open to a relationship with Jesus. “It’s a process,” she said. “But it starts with putting God in the driver’s seat and asking him to take control.”

2. Immerse yourself in Scripture: Tomeo suggests thinking of the word “Bible” as an acronym: Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. As St. Jerome said, ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ, so reading the Bible daily is a great way to build a relationship with him. When we love someone, we want to get to know them better, and reading the Bible is how we can come to know Jesus.

3. Study the Catholic faith: “When we are serious about getting healthy, earning an advanced degree, saving for and building a new home, raising children, etc., we research, we investigate, we talk to all sorts of folks in order to make educated decisions,” Tomeo said. And yet, the wealth of beauty and knowledge in the Church often stays on the literal or figurative shelf. Opening ourselves up to the truth will open us up to Jesus, as he is the way, the truth and the life.

4. Get to know the saints: The Letter to the Hebrews refers to the great “cloud of witnesses” (12:1), which Catholics understand as the Communion of Saints. The stories of the saints “encourage us to persevere through suffering and to maintain joy no matter the circumstances,” Tomeo said. “The more we get to know them, the more we get to know Jesus.”

 

Go spend time with him’

The Catherine of Siena Institute works to ensure that every Catholic has access to a distinctly lay formation that calls each of the baptized to intentional discipleship rooted in the Tradition and magisterial teaching of the Church. Sherry Weddell is the executive director and co-founder of the Institute. In 2012 she released a book titled “Forming Intentional Disciples” (OSV, $16.95), which has sold more than 100,000 copies and has helped in the formation and discernment of Catholics all over the world.

In “Forming Intentional Disciples,” she speaks of the importance of a personal relationship with God. One chapter opens with a quote from Origen of Alexandria’s homilies on Luke, which summarizes perfectly the importance of a relationship with Jesus: “For what profit is it to you, if Christ came once in the flesh, unless he also comes into your soul?”

Weddell provided a few basic, beginning steps in building a relationship with Jesus — steps from which anyone can benefit, she said, although each individual’s journey is unique.

1. Spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament: This should be done regularly, kept on the calendar as a sort of standing appointment. “The resurrected, glorified Jesus is there in the tabernacle for you,” she said. “Go spend time with him.” Adoration is not just devotion for the super-devout, she said. “The presence of the Eucharistic Jesus is for everyone, even those who aren’t yet ready to commit to following him.” Making the intentional effort to spend this intimate time with Jesus is an important step in building that relationship.

2. Regular attendance at Mass: Worshiping the Lord before the Eucharistic table, and our reception of his body and blood at holy Communion, are of utmost importance in fostering a relationship with Christ.

3. Regular confession — at least once a month: Part of building a relationship is righting the relationship when things go awry. Regular confession is an important step in growing closer to Christ.

4. Daily religious reading: Do not underestimate the power of daily prayerful, meditative reading of Scripture (for example, lectio divina) or Church teaching (the Catechism, Pope Francis’ daily homilies, encyclicals from any of the recent popes).

5. Allow a community to help build you up: Find a way to experience ongoing community (something face to face, not just “virtual”) with others on the same journey of discipleship; join an existing group (or create one if necessary). This can take many forms. We can’t do this alone.

 

“Any disciple, whether a layman or laywoman, a priest or a bishop [needs to have] an all-absorbing

 relationship. Perhaps the first question that we must ask a Christian is: ‘Do you meet with Jesus?

Do you pray to Jesus?’ The relationship!” 
— Pope Francis,
 in his July 2, 2017 Angelus message

‘Called to be disciples’

Jeff Cavins is a widely renowned speaker and writer. Raised a Catholic, he fell away from the Church during college. After 12 years as a Protestant pastor, he returned to the Church and founded the EWTN television program “Life on the Rock,” which he hosted for six years. He is well-known for his Bible study programs, particularly the “Great Adventure Bible Timeline,” as well as the series “Our Father’s Plan” with Scott Hahn.

“It is important to have a relationship with Jesus because Jesus is the key to understanding God the Father,” Cavins said. “God wanted to reveal himself to us, and he did in the Old Testament in word and deed; and in the fullness of time, he fully revealed himself in his Son.”

That speaks of the relationship between God and us, Cavins said. “We’re family; we’re sons and daughters of God. So the fact that God revealed himself in a Son means that he is interested in us relating to him as a father.”

Jesus is the fullest revelation of who God is, Cavins said. “Jesus is the icon — God in the flesh. So getting to know him is your full entry into understanding the Trinity and understanding your relationship with the Father.”

The Trinity is all about relationship — it is a family, not a solitude, Cavins said. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and the love between them is the Holy Spirit.

There are those who might say, “I go to Church on Sunday; isn’t that enough? Why do I need to have a relationship with Jesus?” Cavins responds that going to Church on Sunday is only one point of interface with us and God. But saying, “isn’t that enough?” is “tantamount to a family saying ‘I come to dinner, isn’t that enough?’ The answer is no,” Cavins said. “There is a whole life to be lived, and there is life outside of the Mass. Mass is the centerpiece, but there is everyday living.” Conversation, encouragement, teaching, rebuke, correction — all of this is part of relationships, and those relationships have to be cultivated and nurtured. “There’s so much that happens outside of Sunday,” Cavins said.

According to Cavins, it all boils down to relationship. “It isn’t about theology; it’s not about apologetics; it’s about relationship,” he said. “What we are called to be is disciples. And a disciple, basically, is someone who is constantly imitating God. Jesus came to show us the Father. For us to imitate God is the call of our life.”

The best way to develop this relationship with Jesus, the logos, the Word of God made flesh, is in prayer and in Scripture. “You have to develop every day a relationship with Jesus,” Cavins said. “Prayer, and the Word of God — this is incredibly important.”

Paul Senz writes from Oregon.

In a culture that idolizes the individual and reflexively mistrusts authority, Catholics often hear the challenge: "I have a personal relationship with God; why do I need the Church?"

“In a series of reflections on the relationship between Christ and the Church made during his Wednesday general audiences in St. Peter's Square in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI addressed that challenge.”

The Pope noted a slogan that was once popular in some religious circles: "Jesus, yes; Church, no." But such an approach, He declared, given the express intention of Christ, is "totally inconceivable" (reflection presented March 15, 2006).

"This individualistically chosen Jesus is an imaginary Jesus," the Pope insisted. "We cannot have Jesus without the reality He created and in which He communicates himself. Between the Son of God made flesh and His Church there is a profound, unbreakable and mysterious continuity by which Christ is present today in His people."

What in particular are the aspects of "the reality [Christ] created" -- that is, the Church -- that makes Christ in His fullness inseparable from it? How, specifically, does He "communicate himself" through it? According to the Pope, it all begins with the foundation for the Church established by Christ himself: the Twelve Apostles.

Apostolic Foundations

"Through the apostles," says Pope Benedict, "we come to Jesus himself." Their mediation takes place in several ways.

First, "it is from the apostles, through their word and witness, that we receive the truth of Christ." They were eyewitnesses to His life and message, given the commission to preach the kingdom of God, and they appointed successors so that "the mission entrusted to them would be continued after their death" (March 29, 2006).

"The Church is wholly of the Spirit but has a structure, the apostolic succession, which is responsible for guaranteeing that the Church endures in the truth given by Christ" (April 5, 2006).

To know Jesus, then, we need the Church, because it is the Church that authoritatively and reliably preserves and proclaims the truth about who Jesus is.

Second, Christ gave His authority and power to the apostles and their successors to offer the sacraments, which we need to be fully joined to Christ. The Pope notes in particular holy orders, through which the apostolic succession is continued; the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which reconciles us to God; and the Eucharist, in which "Jesus nourishes us, He unites us with himself, with His Father, with the Holy Spirit and with one an-other" (March 29, 2006).

Communion With Christ

Third, through the apostles Christ gathered a community that, despite the failings of its members, is a communion with himself, filled with love by the power of the Spirit: "The Holy Spirit builds the Church and gives her the truth; He pours out love, as St. Paul says, into the hearts of believers (see Rom 5:5)."

This "Communion is born from faith inspired by apostolic preaching, it is nourished by the Breaking of Bread and prayer, and is expressed in brotherly love and service" (April 5, 2006).

In all these ways, then, "through apostolic succession it is Christ who reaches us: in the words of the apostles and of their successors, it is He who speaks to us; through their hands it is He who acts in the sacraments; in their gaze it is His gaze that embraces us and makes us feel loved and welcomed into the Heart of God" (May 10, 2006).

To know Jesus Christ in His fullness, we need the Church.

Find more from Our Sunday Visitor

This is taken from Bishop Barron's daily Gospel Reflection - visit Word on Fire

THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

MARK 14:12-16, 22-26

Friends, today’s Gospel focuses on the spiritual power of the Eucharist. The central claim of the Catholic Church is that Jesus is substantially present under the forms of bread and wine. His presence is not simply evocative and symbolic, but rather real, true, and substantial.

To verify this scripturally, look at the accounts of the Last Supper in Matthew, Mark, and Luke—and also in Paul. But look especially at the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Jesus says, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” But when they object, Jesus does not soften his language; he intensifies it. 

This is the ground for the Church’s defense of the Real Presence. How can we make sense of it? It has everything to do with who Jesus is. If he were simply an ordinary human being, his words would have, at best, a symbolic resonance. But Jesus is God, and what God says, is. 

Thus, when Jesus’ words over the bread and wine are spoken, they change into what the words signify. They become really, truly, and substantially the Body and Blood of the Lord.

This is a beautiful article explaining why we love Mary and her role in history and the Catholic faith.

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