Browsing The Seed

Strength in our Communion

first holy communion

I hope that everyone has had a blessed Easter Octave. The Octave of Easter is a special week of solemnity in which we celebrate each day as another Easter day, so great is the power, importance, and splendor of the Resurrection. I hope everyone celebrated this Octave accordingly! I want to express heartfelt gratitude to those who participated in the Triduum and Easter liturgies. I am especially grateful to Fr. Jacquemin, our deacons, my parish staff, the servers, musicians, and all the other assistants at the liturgies, whose presence aided in making them prayerful, reverent, and absolutely beautiful. I was truly basking in it all, and I just kept thinking of how grateful I am to be here, and how blessed I am to be your pastor.  I am pleased that parishioners from all five churches were present for the Sacred Triduum. I am always so impressed at how strong we are when we come together to pray and worship. It confirms in my heart that our communion with the Lord and one another is our strength. Easter is always joyful, but this year feels especially so for me, because of what I witnessed during these last two weeks. Between the beautiful liturgies, the fine Spring weather, and the prayerfulness of my parishioners, I have much hope as we continue to move forward together.

Soon we will be celebrating First Holy Communion for our second graders. In order to accommodate the numbers, we are celebrating First Holy Communion over the course of two weekends, dividing the communicants with their families between four Sunday Masses: two at Saint Henry, and two at Saint Bernard. This will allow for more family members to attend, as there will only be about 15 first communicants at each Mass, and will make it a more intimate experience for the children being in a smaller number. The children and their parents will be attending a day of recollection and preparation on Sunday, April 23rd, where they will learn about the Eucharist, receive a church tour, and spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament as they prepare to receive Jesus for the first time in the following weeks. Let us all spend some time praying for our young people as they approach this day, that they will know the strength and consolation that comes from Holy Communion with Jesus in the Eucharist, and that they will be able to receive Him often in this Blessed Sacrament.

Keeping with the theme of the Eucharist, the adoration committee and I have been working hard to prepare for our launch of the “Perpetual Adoration at Saint Wendelin” sign-up drive in the parish. We are very excited, and we hope that many parishioners will come forward and contribute a little of their time to this very important work of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. For this to be successful, it is going to take all of us; so often we think “someone else will do that”, but we should each ask the Lord in prayer: “Am I the ‘someone’ you are calling to contribute to this?” I know the Lord wants each one of us to come and see Him every day. But at the very least, to take an hour once a week to be with Him in the Eucharist seems an obvious longing of His Heart. What else could He want, He who burns with such love for us in the Eucharist? God gives each of us 168 hours every week, and even after the one hour (or so) we give Him on Sunday, that leaves 167 others. Can we spare one of those hours to adore Him, to talk to Him, to worship and praise Him in the Eucharist? It isn’t too much to ask when we consider how blessed we are, and how much we ought to thank Him. No one has ever outdone God in generosity, and the more we praise Him, the more we can expect He will lavish grace upon us in return. The strength of our parish and the hope of our future truly depends on this task of praise and adoration. Not to mention, He deserves this from us. Sadly, there are Catholics – and, scandalously, even some priests – who say Eucharistic Adoration is not that important. I don’t know how a Catholic could say they believe the Eucharist is truly Jesus and at the same time say spending time with Him is unimportant. Besides, anyone who wants to go to Heaven needs to be prepared to spend their eternity worshipping and adoring God, loving Him and being loved by Him in the most intimate and ecstatic way – why not acquire the taste for that kind of eternity here, while we have the chance? In the end, it is not buildings or money or October counts that reveal the strength or faith of a community of believers. Rather, it is the love they have for the Lord in the Eucharist and the neighbor whom He inspires them to serve. The Blessed Sacrament is the source and summit of everything we are, and it is the wellspring from which all graces flow. This adoration chapel will give visible testimony that He is the center of our lives, and if we come together to deepen our communion with Jesus in the Eucharist, if we rally around Him, we will be strong. May God bless you in the week ahead and may Mother Mary lead you more deeply into the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. I remain,

Affectionately Yours in Christ,

Fr. Hess

Eucharistic Adoration at St. WendelinBeacons of Light Updates