St. Patrick Parish Celebrates Eucharistic Conference
By Margarita Mendoza, Editor El Observador
August 17, 2023
ST. CHARLES—People from around the Diocese of Rockford got together on a sunny Aug. 12 morning for a Eucharistic conference organized by St. Patrick Parish at its Crane Road church. About 300 people there listened to the presentations of keynote speakers Archbishop Jerome Listecki, Archdiocese of Milwaukee; Bishop David Malloy; and Michael Gormley. The attendees also participated in Eucharistic adoration, confession, benediction and Mass, with music led by Paul Vogrinc. 
An exhibit of a first-class relic of Bl. Carlo Acutis, one of the patrons of Eucharistic Revival, was available for viewing and prayer.
The first speaker of the day, Michael Gormley, explained the National Eucharistic Revival saying that  “revival means to have life again,” and noting that there is widespread ignorance about the Eucharist. “We are not the center of the universe, God is … the one who saved your life. God wants for your life something more than you are capable” of doing, he said. 
“Jesus is present with us every single day in the most precious sacrament of the altar… It reminds us periodically [of] the presence of Jesus …. And He alone is our savior; He alone is our redeemer,” he said. 
Archbishop Listecki said that the “summit of Christian life, the other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostles are bound up with the Eucharist.” 
For Father Arnold Relles, St. Patrick parochial vicar, Archbishop Listecki delivered a powerful message when he said that “the Eucharist and reconciliation are the two sacraments that invigorate us and unite us, because reconciliation shows us the mercy of God and the Eucharist shows us the real sacrifice of Christ.” 
Father Relles said that parish events “help the parish to revive our love for [the] Eucharist” because “during the pandemic people were afraid of going out,” leading to lower Mass attendance. “Now that we have this type of conference, [it] will really help people to go out of their house and attend 
the real Mass and receive the real Christ in the Eucharist by way of communion,” he said. 
Bishop Malloy, the conference’s last speaker, said, “We need to have a revival of Eucharistic faith” because “this is Christ’s Church. He loves His Church.”
The bishop also spoke about a concerning reality: “Our young people are moving away from the faith, particularly when they get away from school.” But he noted what Pope Francis talked about when he became pope: “We can’t become tired, we cannot allow ourselves to become tired…” One of the things Pope Francis is trying to do, Bishop Malloy said, is to get Catholics “out [of] the sacristy and take ourselves out with enthusiastic witness.” 
He noted the troubling result of the 2019 Pew Research Study, which motivated the U.S. bishops to start the three-year Eucharistic Revival in the U.S. That study showed that just 31% of Catholics believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, while 69% believe that the Eucharist is symbolic. 
The day concluded with a Mass. To remind attendees of Jesus’ Real Presence, Bishop Malloy announced before communion that those “who are not Catholic or for any reason are not to receive … should feel comfortable just staying in the place where you are.” For those ready to receive the Eucharist, he reviewed the practice of receiving: “in the tongue or in the hand — we need to show reverence to acknowledge the presence of Christ.” He told them to bow before receiving Him and make the Sign of the Cross right after, then “go back to your place respectfully.”
Later, Bishop Malloy told The Observer that “it’s good to be with so many people who are striving to renew their faith in the Eucharist. And I hope that the thoughts and the prayers and the graces of this day will help us to then go outside of ourselves and bring others back to the Eucharist, to Mass, to church, who have been away, who need to rediscover this reality.” And for young people who are “a 
part of, in many ways, those who have at times distanced themselves from the Church,” there is a “need for our young people to be enlightened, to be joined to the 
Eucharistic reality.”
Msgr. Daniel Deutsch, pastor, was satisfied with the event. “We saw a lot of people come to hear some great talks and to see our bishop and to listen to him as well.” He was pleased with the talks, adoration, and confessions rooted “deep in the appreciation and love for the Church and the Eucharist, which is our goal.”
After the Mass, Bishop Malloy and Msgr. Deutsch said goodbye to the participants in the church atrium, while parishioner Steve Sikorski invited men to the parish’s “First Annual Men’s Event” set 
for Aug. 26. 
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