God chooses each one of us exactly as we are, said Father Patrick Hyde, OP.
Speaking to teens and adult leaders Feb. 17 at a Eucharistic Revival Youth Rally at Ascension Church in Chesterfield, Father Hyde said that God loves us so much that He gave us Himself in the Eucharist.
“Because He loves us so much, He keeps coming closer to us,” he said. “His desire is insatiable, and He never stops chasing after us. Then He goes even one step further — He gives us Himself in the Eucharist. He says to you … here I am, everything: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. And I offer you myself — not because you’re worthy, but because you’re loved. He desires to feed us.”
The St. Louis native — now a Dominican priest who serves as president and director of campus ministry at the St. Paul Catholic Center at Indiana University — shared that message with about 100 teens and adults at the youth event, which included praise and worship music, eucharistic adoration and opportunities for confessions and healing prayer.
The local event was meant to draw attention to the three-year National Eucharistic Revival to nurture the belief and devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
Father Hyde is among 50 priests who have been chosen as eucharistic preachers for the national revival, speaking at locations across the country. Sharing stories from his time growing up in St. Clement of Rome Parish and School in Des Peres and Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis, Father Hyde noted that the trouble he caused as a school boy eventually showed that God has a “wonderful sense of humor,” as revealed through his calling to the priesthood.
After one particular incident in the sixth grade, when he got in trouble after changing the classroom’s seating chart, his mother drove him to the Carmelite Monastery to reflect on his trouble-making behavior.
“I was unknowable in that moment, but in that moment I knew that I was loved,” he recalled as he sat before the Eucharist in the chapel. “All of my brokenness and mistakes were laid bare — I knew God’s love.”
Each one of us is perfectly desired by God, he said. Sometimes the desire to be known and loved can be misplaced, and we choose behaviors that lead to sin, anxiety, frustration and confusion. Social media — with its opportunities for likes, comments and shares — gives us a false sense of fulfillment. It’s God who gives us a sense of true fulfillment, Father Hyde said.
In the Eucharist, we are reminded that our response is to go out and share the Gospel with the world, so that others might come to know and love Jesus. He invited the teens to open their hearts to God, because He is always with us.
“The Eucharist changes us,” he said. “When we turn our hearts to the Lord, He doesn’t turn us away.”
Drew Scognamiglio, a 17-year-old junior at Marquette High School in Chesterfield and part of the youth group at Ascension Parish, described an encounter he had with the Eucharist at a Steubenville youth conference.
“There was a time in my life when I was strong in sin, and I came to youth ministry here at Ascension, and we’ve had some beautiful times in adoration,” he said. “It completely changed my view on the Church and my faith. Adoration is God, but it also saves people. It’s saved me from sin and many others I know, too.”
Several teens from Resurrection Vietnamese Parish in St. Louis attended the youth event at Ascension. They are part of a Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement, a national movement that teaches young people to be virtuous and good Christians.
“The Eucharist is a special moment between me and God,” said 15-year-old Myan Huynh. “It’s very personal. I can be bold with Him, and He can become part of me. It’s good for my soul. I describe the Eucharist to others as God, but you have to have faith. In faith, we believe that it’s Him.”
Eucharistic Revival continues in the Archdiocese of St. Louis
Events scheduled at parishes across the archdiocese
BY JENNIFER BRINKER | [email protected] | twitter: @jenniferbrinker
The Archdiocese of St. Louis has joined with other dioceses across the country for a Eucharistic Revival.
The three-year Eucharistic Revival, which began in June 2022, includes opportunities to nurture the belief and devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski said.
The revival “is a beautiful invitation to grow in our living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist; to experience His love and mercy; and to share that love and mercy with the world,” the archbishop said in a video message.
The U.S. bishops are calling for a three-year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. They believe that God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist — and sent out in mission “for the life of the world.”
The mission of the national revival effort is to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The four main pillars of the movement are healing, conversion, formation and unity.
The revival will culminate with a National Eucharistic Congress July 17-21, 2024, in Indianapolis. It will be the first time in 45 years that a Eucharistic Congress has been held in the United States. In 1976, the United States hosted the 41st International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, with keynote speakers Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (soon to be elected Pope John Paul II) and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
As part of the revival, several events to promote the Eucharist are taking place in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “The Eucharist: Mystery of Presence, Sacrifice and Communion,” is a yearlong series of monthly presentations on the Eucharist by Lawrence Feingold. Each monthly presentation will be held on different dates at several locations throughout the archdiocese and will be available in English and Spanish. Feingold is an associate professor of theology and philosophy at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and the author of several books related to the Eucharist.
The Eucharistic Revival also is offering several Mercy Healing Services at locations throughout the archdiocese. The service includes Scripture, reflection, adoration, reconciliation, prayer teams and Benediction and will begin at 7 p.m.
For dates and locations for these and other events, see allthingsnew.archstl.org/Eucharistic-Revival-Events.