, an American Jesuit Priest, who spent 23 years in Russian prison camps, in his memoirs wrote about celebrating Mass for his fellow prisoners in Siberia. In those days, the Eucharistic fast was from midnight until the time Holy Communion was received. Father Ciszek relates how he and his fellow prisoners would fast all day from the little food that was provided to them in order to receive the Eucharist at a secret evening Mass.
If they were discovered celebrating Mass, they would be severely punished. Yet, Father Ciszek and his fellow prisoners were willing to risk their health, well-being and lives to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist.
This Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. The Church provides this annual celebration, inviting us to deepen our appreciation of the great miracle in which we participate at each and every Eucharist.
Unlike Father Ciszek and his fellow Siberian concentration camp prisoners, the opportunity to receive the Holy Eucharist is readily available to all of us. The Church asks us to fast for only one hour before receiving Holy Communion. We risk nothing in order to receive Our Lord in this Blessed Sacrament. Yet, sadly not because of any risk to our safety and well-being, many choose to absent themselves from participating in the Eucharist, because giving God one hour or so of our week is just too much to ask.
Our annual inter-diocesan celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi will take place Sunday, June 7 at the Lumen Christi Monastery of the Little Sisters of the Lamb in Kansas City, Kansas at 36 South Boeke Street, 66101. The celebration will begin with an outdoor Mass at Noon, followed by an hour of Adoration with the procession beginning at 2 pm.
Some may prefer or need to participate at Mass in your own Parish. Everyone is welcome to come for all or any portion of the celebration. If you are unable to come for Mass or adoration, I urge you to come for the Procession. It will be beautiful to flood the streets of Kansas City, Kansas with hundreds of Catholics professing publicly their love for Jesus and His presence in the Blessed Sacrament. After the final Benediction, there will be an ice cream social.
I encourage individuals and families to come and give public witness of your love for Our Lord’s unique presence in the Eucharist. The liturgy and procession will be beautiful thanks to the careful preparations of Little Sisters of the Lamb and so many others.
Parents, this is a perfect opportunity to encourage your children to develop a deeper love for Our Lord in this Blessed Sacrament. Is there any real reason that prevents your participation? Is there anything that could be more important than giving Our Lord this small amount of time for prayer and adoration?
Think of the witness of Father Ciszek and his fellow Siberian prisoners! What are we willing to sacrifice to receive and adore our Lord in the Eucharist?
After prayer and reflection, I decided that it was prudent to change some of the previously announced pastoral appointments for priests. There was some controversy regarding a couple of the assignments. It seemed unfair to the priests to ask them to assume an assignment where there was such a high level of negativity. It was my judgment that in these cases it was best to allow the new bishop the opportunity to make his own decisions about these assignments. Of course, when one assignment is altered it necessitates other changes as well. I am grateful to all the priests affected with the revisions of the assignments for their generosity and willingness to serve wherever the Church most needed their gifts. Please pray for all the priests, who will be assuming new assignments, that the Lord will bless them during this time of transition.
Rev. Patrick Rush: to remain pastor at Visitation Parish
Rev. Donald Farnan: to remain pastor at St. Thomas More Parish
Rev. Stephen Hansen: to remain pastor at Coronation of Our Lady Parish
Rev. Vincent Rogers: to remain pastor at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish
Rev. Richard Rocha: to remain Vocation Director with residence at Christ the King Parish
Rev. Gregory Lockwood: to remain Administrative Director of Vocations
Rev. Jack Fitzpatrick: appointed parochial vicar at St. John LaLande Parish
Rev. Adam Johnson: appointed Director of Young Adult Ministry with residence at St. John LaLande Parish
Rev. Gabriel Lickteig: after ordination to begin full-time service at Archbishop O’Hara High School with residence at St. John Francis Regis Parish
Rev. Curt Vogel: after ordination to be parochial vicar at St. Sabina Parish
Rev. Bryan Amthor: after ordination to be parochial vicar at St. Peter Parish, Kansas City
Rev. Charles Rowe: to remain in full time service at the Chancery with residence at Visitation Parish
Rev. Andrew Mattingly: after ordination to continue graduate studies with residence at Christ the King Parish, effective July 15
Rev. Mr. Samuel Miloscia: after ordination to be in residence at St. Patrick Parish, Kansas City
Rev. Adam Ryan, OSB: with the nomination of Abbot Gregory Polan, OSB, appointed pastor of St. Rose of Lima, Savannah, and its mission of St. Patrick, Forest City, effective August 1.
Rev. Aloys Ebach, C.PP.S.: with the nomination of Very Reverend Joseph F. Nassal, C.PP.S., Provincial Director, appointed pastor of Church of the Annunciation Parish, effective July 1.