07-24-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Charlie Goraieb

Dear Friends,

Thanks to all of you who made our Patronal Feast day a great success. The St Theresa Group and Sr Maria Isabel for all of their planning; the Knights for providing a great dinner on Saturday night; our St Vincent de Paul Chapter for ice cream galore; Donna Higgins for the beautiful OLMC banner; our new statue of OLMC provided by a generous parishioner; to all of the children who processed into Mass with flowers for our Blessed Mother; the Living Rosary Group, Sodality, the Evangelization Team, the Ushers and our Maintenance Staff; to all of the generous parishioners who helped with set up and tear down; and (despite the risk of seeming self-serving) to the Still Waters Band for providing the music on Saturday night. And to anyone I’ve omitted to mention, Thank You!

In addition to marshalling the parish energy to honor our great Patroness, it was also a great opportunity to gather and socialize, something that has been sorely missing for all of us over the past couple of years. And in the dead of summer, no less. Our Pastoral Council has identified the planning of more social gatherings as a priority for our parish for the coming year. Stay tuned.

A reminder to all of you who came to the last two Masses to find out that we had run out of scapulars. To all of you who wanted to be invested with a scapular and were not able, please purchase a scapular of your choosing and we will invest you with it on Sunday, July 31 at the 11:00am and 5:00pm Masses. You can purchase one of good quality at the Mary Immaculate Bookstore, at the Autom Bookstore or online (try Scapulars.com).

For some time now, Catholic priests and commentators have been bemoaning the widespread lack of belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist among Catholics. Not long ago, the Pew Foundation released their most recent poll showing the figure as low as 25%. A lot of us were skeptical of that figure, knowing that many of those identifying as Catholics were most likely not practicing their faith. But even taking that into account still leaves us with a lot of troubling questions.

Last week there was some good news and some bad news on this subject. RealClear Opinion Research conducted a poll that found that of likely Catholic voters in the U.S., half believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, and 37% go to confession at least annually. That 50% is certainly better than 25%. But the bad news is that among the other 50%, Thirty-eight percent said they consider “the bread and wine as just symbols of the Body and Blood of Christ, while 12% said they don’t know whether they believe in the Real Presence.

My brothers and sisters, what has happened? How could our greatest treasure be so badly understood by so many of our fellow Catholics? John Bergsma, a professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, referring to the survey, said that “Once again, this confirms what most practicing Catholics know from firsthand experience: that the state of catechesis in our communities is often fair to poor.”

He emphasized parents’ responsibility for the formation of their children, saying that “if parents want to ensure that their children are raised as Catholics in truth and not name only, they will have to do catechesis in the home, and especially model their faith for their children by their own habits of prayer and frequenting of the sacraments.”

While “some schools and parishes do a good or even heroic job catechizing the children and young people who come … parents cannot ‘outsource’ the job of catechesis--which is really the process of Christian discipleship--to others,” he said.

All of this only intensifies my commitment to the project
of Eucharistic Revival, especially for our community at OLMC.

St Thomas Aquinas, “Pray for us.”