It is Jesus himself who invites us to participate in Mass in person each week; only in person can we receive the sacrament of the Eucharist, which sustains us, nourishes our union with Christ, and gives us the strength and motivation to carry out apostolic works, Bishop Salvatore R. Matano recently observed.
Bishop Matano discussed the significance of the Eucharist at greater length in a 2017 pastoral letter he promulgated as he opened the diocese’s Year of the Eucharist, June 2017 through June 2018. The Year of the Eucharist coincided with the sesquicentennial celebration of the Diocese of Rochester.
Here are some key points from Bishop Matano’s pastoral letter, which can be read in its entirety at https://bit.ly/3fseQxm:
• Jesus himself instituted the Eucharist and shares the gift of himself with Catholics today in this sacrament.
• Recent polls show that a significant number of Catholics do not understand or have not been taught that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, so we must renew our efforts in all areas of diocesan, parish and family life.
• The Eucharist transcends space, time, and political and social ideologies, uniting Catholics around the world with each other as well as those who have gone before them.
• Catholics must faithfully attend Mass every weekend: “The success of any parish depends upon the support of its members and their fidelity and devotion to the Holy Eucharist.”
• Outreach to the poor must include inviting them to the Eucharist, “since spiritual nourishment is also essential to their lives.”
• Catholics must approach the holy Eucharist “properly disposed, not conscious of serious sin” that requires them to go to confession before receiving the sacrament.
• The church’s continued emphasis on the Eucharist is intended to encourage and support parents in fulfilling their responsibility to introduce their children to Jesus and his real presence in the Eucharist.