Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Postulant Jennifer Bourque, Novice Sister Michelle Marie Ozuna, Novice Sister Catherine Peter Logan, Sister Kathleen Murphy and Sister Julie Ann Sheahan participated in the recent Diocese of Madison Eucharistic Congress. Here are some reflections on the experience.
At the end of September, we traveled to the Madison Diocese for their Eucharistic Congress at St. John the Baptist Church, Waunakee, Wisconsin. The day began, as all days should, with a beautiful Mass. The Presider fed us with the Word and the Eucharist as we came together in community to sing and worship our God while the voices of the choir took us to a place of deep prayer. Nourished and energized we headed into the day of reflection as we listened to the wonderful speakers, spent time in adoration, had opportunities for confession, explored the Eucharistic miracles displays, watched an award ceremony to young people from the Knights, and of course played a short game of corn hole.
One of the speakers, Father Vasek, shared “our inheritance is like an anchor behind the veil” and we were reminded “to receive God as He comes to each one of us because without Jesus, we have nothing, but with Jesus we have everything”. Every person is equipped, with their unique gifts and talents from our loving Father, to bring the message of Christ to those we encounter on a daily basis. Thank you, Bishop Donald Hying, and to all who were a part of making this memorable day possible. Blessings to all of those who said ‘Yes’ to attend. Pax et Bonum. -Sister Catherine Peter
At the Madison Diocese Eucharistic Congress, there was a sentiment of conversion and community present throughout the day. Between the powerful keynote and breakout speakers, the opportunity for reconciliation, small group discussions, spiritual direction, perpetual adoration, and fellowship, there were plenty of ways to encounter our Lord. It was hopeful to see whole families and the youth in attendance.
I was especially moved by the Eucharistic Revival speaker, Fr. Craig Vasek’s moving and energetic talk on Christ’s love and our salvation through him. The Eucharist is where the cross of his crucifixion and where the body and blood that he left for us through the holy sacrament of communion meet. Wherever Jesus is, is where the Eucharist is. Not only did Christ die for us nailing our sins to the cross with himself but he also comes to us at every mass in the form of bread and wine, he is worthy of our praise and adoration and gratitude. Christ is as present in the Eucharist as he is in the Word and the Church. I hope many people come to know Christ and his love as Fr. Vasek described, He is a tender-loving gentleman, He is longing, inviting, a giver of eternal joy and our salvation.\
I was so amazed to stumble upon the beautiful eucharistic praise and worship through reflections, scripture readings, music, incense, and candles that were hosted by the Sisters of Mary The Morning Star during perpetual adoration. To experience the Lord during Eucharistic adoration in such a special and meaningful way made my soul sing in adoration of our Lord. It was beautiful to witness the spiritual motherhood of Sisters adoring Christ and helping others come to Christ in a special way as well.
The way our day started out with morning prayer and Mass and ended with a communal spiritual reflection from Fr. Vasek made for a very unifying and spiritually uplifting time in adoration of Jesus our Lord and Savior, ever present in the Eucharist and in each of us. – Sister Michelle Marie
I truly enjoyed meeting the variety of participants that attended and listening to the different speakers and attending Eucharistic Adoration. My favorite was Fr. Vasek who spoke on prayer at the end of the day and he also spoke in the morning. I also enjoyed Monsg. James Bartylla who spoke about the Mass in the morning session, I learned a lot about the consecration. The Mass was beautiful and the choir did an amazing job with the singing. Overall, it was a beautiful experience. – Postulant Jenn