A Eucharistic Victory
Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E Listecki

A Eucharistic Victory

I find it hard to stay constantly motivated when there are challenges in the Church. It’s true. I walk in my faith as best I can, and still wonder when God will deliver his people.

There are a seemingly infinite amount of challenges facing the World and the Church; the war in Ukraine and the war in Gaza; the steady drumbeat of authoritarian governments rising in power and threatening the international community. At home in our country a tribal mentality and polarization are present in every strata of American society, even in the Catholic Church.

So now, I come to a point of reprieve, the day our Lord arrived on pilgrimage with his followers. I am a monk in residence at St. Benedict’s center in Benet Lake, Wisconsin. Our priory here was once a monastery and now is a monastic mission house. I cannot fail to mention how this center is located at the border between Wisconsin and Illinois, and thus also on the ecclesial boundary between the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Archdiocese of Chicago. Thus our location became the ideal point of departure for the Eucharistic Pilgrimage from one territory to the next.

We learned several weeks ago about the Pilgrimage coming here. The monks and our staff made extensive plans to readily welcome Christ and the carriers of the Luna. I have had a long spell of enthusiasm-killing doubt about new movements of change happening in society. And yet here, on this day, I felt as though a great victory parade came through our humble dwelling.

The weather abated for the time of the procession. The preparation for the liturgy was well-planned out, and the arrival of the Eucharist itself, Himself, was delayed. It was not stalled for long. The Archbishop and diocesan staff arrived here a little after twelve noon. Then the Eucharist arrived in a special motorcade with a dedicated team who brought the Lord to our cemetery chapel. The Archbishop and celebrants incensed the Eucharist on the Altar. Then the procession proceeded from there to the main Church.

We didn’t know how many people to expect. At least 150 faithful joined us at Mass. Archbishop Jerome Listecki gave a beautiful homily about remembering the most important moments in life. He said well that this Eucharistic movement is greatly needed in a time which, “I say unhesitatingly,” the World has forgotten about God. Mass was then brought to the climax with the reception of Communion. As Mass ended the crowd took leave as quickly as it had begun. Adoration was celebrated for another hour or so, and then at 3:00PM Christ’s body departed again. The pilgrimage team respectively took Christ and placed His vessel onboard the van, and the team politely bid the remaining faithful adieu.

So this moment, these precious hours, were short and truly sweet. The old problems remain. Americans are still polarized and angry at each other. The World is in a dangerous and chaotic state. When isn’t it?

Catholics are hurting in the Body of Christ. Former Catholics number over 50 million people now in our country, and another decade of these trends will have former Catholics outnumbering professed Catholics. And still, this moment was a victory and so is this movement. It is better to give the Divine his due than the devil. This Revival brought many souls together who would be divided otherwise. It brings peace and clarity to so many who have endured suffering for so long. Christ came to our little vista this day. Yes, Christ always comes at Mass. Yet this pilgrimage brought the People of God together in His body. It is indeed a victory, and I, despite my usual cynicism, am so grateful to have witnessed it. Amen.

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Written by
Br Matthew Marie, OSB