A message from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
At the recent virtual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Pierre addressed the bishops assembled online. During his remarks, the Nuncio observed:
“… we need to be a Church that follows the method of Jesus, which is one of accompaniment and dialogue, a dialogue directed toward salvation. … The Church offers salvation in the Person of Jesus Christ. …What is often lacking in the process of evangelization, and we certainly need to evangelize and catechize now more than ever, is ‘beginning again from Jesus Christ’… The starting point, therefore, cannot be to shame the weak, but to propose the One who can strengthen us to overcome our weaknesses, especially through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. With respect to the latter, Holy Communion is not merely a ‘thing’ to be received, but Christ Himself, a Person to be encountered. Jesus Christ is a Person, not a concept.”
Given the controversy and confusion that has surrounded this particular meeting of the USCCB in both the secular and some Catholic media, I found the Nuncio’s address direct, clear, inspiring and even comforting. Regardless of where individual bishops stand on the need for a new pastoral document on the Holy Eucharist – and there was some difference of opinion about it – the centrality of the Holy Eucharist as the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the life and faith of the Catholic Church (“the source and summit of the Christian life”) is not new nor was it ever in doubt or questioned at any point in the USCCB meeting.
For Bishop’s full message, click HERE.
The Meaning of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church
The USCCB shared the following:
Since the conclusion of the Spring Plenary Assembly of the U.S. bishops last week, there has been much attention on the vote taken to draft a document on the Eucharist. The question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot. The vote by the bishops last week tasked the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine to begin the drafting of a teaching document on the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life. The importance of nurturing an ever deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.
This summer, young people in grades 8-12 from throughout the Diocese are once again invited to live out their Catholic faith and help people in need.
During July and August, the Diocese is hosting four Mission: Jersey opportunities that will allow participants to share in prayer experiences, community building activities, service projects and hear witness testimonials by representatives of different outreach organizations that assist underserved people from throughout the state.
Focusing on the Year of St. Joseph, the Mission: Jersey days “will empower our young people to use their gifts and talents to make a real difference in their local community, as well as grow in their faith,” said Dan Waddington, director of the diocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, which coordinates the event
For the full story, click HERE.
Yesterday began Religious Freedom Week. a week beginning with the Feasts of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, and ending with the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul and including the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
“During Religious Freedom Week, Catholics are encouraged to pray and act each day for religious freedom,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty. RFW replaces the Fortnight for Freedom that ran 2012-2017.
For more information on how to get involved, click HERE.