Monday, May 19, 2008

The Blessed Sacrament

"We should never sever the connection between recieving the Sacrament and celebrating the sacrifice"

These words are the central message of Bishop Murphy's letter to the priests of the Diocese of Rockville Centre regarding "the proper celebration of the Eucharist and the distribution of Holy Communion".

The Bishop stated that weekday Communion services which take place outside of Mass should no longer be conducted within the diocese. The Bishop has made this decision after careful examination of Church teaching on the subject of the Eucharist. He has made a point to thank the good and holy people who have carried out these services throughout the years.

Many people have been upset about the Bishop's actions in this case. However it is necessary for everyone to be completely informed on this issue before spewing opinions. It is admirable that so many people have such a devotion to the Eucharist and I trust those people will take this as an opportunity to develop an even greater devotion.

The entire Mass is a sacrifice. Sacrifice is what Catholics are called to do every day. For Kellenberg students, since there will no longer be Communion before lunch at school, you could make an extra effort to get to the 7:20 Mass that is held in the school chapel every morning. Obviously this is difficult and you may not be able to do it. But there are other ways to honor Christ. The Bishop has encouraged reading of the Liturgy of the Hours, the "official prayer of the Church". By having to make more of an effort to receive the Eucharist daily we should be able to better appreciate the Sacrament. This whole situation should provide a wonderful opportunity for reflection on the importance of the Eucharist.

I would also humbly ask that before anyone criticizes the Bishop for his actions that they become fully informed on the issue. The Bishop's letter should be read in its entirety and can be found here: In his letter the Bishop also encourages us to examine The General Instruction on the Roman Missal, Ecclesia de Eucharistia - John Paul II's encyclical on the Eucharist, Redemptionis Sacramentum by the Congregation of Divine Worship, and Sacramentum Caritatis - Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical on the Eucharist. Also helpful is this article from The Long Island Catholic: I hope you will all take this opportunity to become more educated about the Eucharist.