Semana Eucarística: Una Experiencia de Fe y el Poder del Pueblo

We’re in the midst of our Semana Eucarística (Eucharistic Week) here at St. Clare of Montefalco Parish in Chicago.  Each evening we have a three-hour service that features a procession, exposition and blessings with the Blessed Sacrament, the praying of the Rosary, and a variety of songs and prayers.  Confessions are also available each night.  This year’s theme is “The Eucharist and Evangelization” and our preacher is Fr. Tom Boharic, Pastor of our neighboring parish, St. Simon the Apostle.  His sermons have been a good mix of contemplation, humor and an invitation to ongoing conversion.

Although we are just two days into the celebration, it has been a moving experience.  It’s a great testament to the power of the Eucharist to draw people into prayer and devotion.  Whole families are attending, and it is inspiring to see parents passing our Catholic faith to their children in such a tangible way.  It is also a reminder that while the liturgy and particularly the Eucharist are the “summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed, the fount from which all her power flows” (Sacrosanctum concilium 10), there are many ways other than the Mass at which the people of God can gather for prayer and worship. 

Another inspiring thing is how this week is really led by el pueblo de Dios (the people of God).  Deacons and priests are involved, but it is the people of God, young and old, women and men, who are the driving force.  Demographically, the Hispanic and immigrant communities are stabilizing the membership of the Catholic Church in the United States at a time when others have left.  But they are also reminding us that there are other ways to “do church,” ways that all of us can deepen the spirits of collaboration, devotion and shared responsibility that we need to renew and rebuild the Church. —JC