RSSFaith Fundamentals

Why the pelican with chicks is a symbol of the Eucharist

Why the pelican with chicks is a symbol of the Eucharist

| Father Michael Van Sloun | January 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

An image of a mother pelican with her chicks is carved into the capital on top of a pillar at the Cenacle, the upper room on Mount Zion in Jerusalem where tradition holds that Jesus shared the Last Supper with his apostles and instituted the Eucharist.

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The Eucharist, Christmas and the manger

The Eucharist, Christmas and the manger

| Father Michael Van Sloun | December 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

St. Luke places an extremely high value on the Eucharist, and it is a major point of emphasis woven into the fabric of his Gospel from beginning to end. He artfully inserts a curious detail into his birth account to begin to state his case: Mary “gave birth to her firstborn son … and laid him in a manger” (Lk 2:7). The manger is mentioned twice more in verses 12 and 16.

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The Eucharist as thanksgiving

The Eucharist as thanksgiving

| Father Michael Van Sloun | November 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

You have no idea how many people have told me, “I don’t get anything out of Mass.” I am quick to reply, “You have it backwards. You don’t come to Mass to get something. You come to Mass to give something, and that something is your thanks to our good and gracious God for the blessings that you have received.”

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Become what you receive

Become what you receive

| Father Michael Van Sloun | October 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Eucharist has a transformative effect. If we cooperate, the Eucharist has the power to change us, not in a small way, but in a major way, to re-create us into a new and better person. When Jesus gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper and asked us to “do this in memory of me,” he asked us to receive him, the bread of life, true bread from heaven (Jn 6:41), on a regular basis, because of his deep desire that each of us would have a complete makeover, a total transformation.

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Bread for the journey

Bread for the journey

| Father Michael Van Sloun | September 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

Eucharist as viaticum is holy Communion given to a person when death is imminent.

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The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist

The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist

| Father Michael Van Sloun | August 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is a doctrine — an official teaching of the Catholic Church — and a profound mystery. With the words of consecration, the whole of Christ is truly present — body, blood, soul and divinity — under the appearances of bread and wine.

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Transubstantiation: Not as difficult as it sounds

Transubstantiation: Not as difficult as it sounds

| Father Michael Van Sloun | July 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Transubstantiation is a doctrine or a core belief about the Eucharist. It is a technical theological term and a matter of faith that is often experienced as an intimidating concept, almost beyond comprehension, and difficult to explain. Yet, it is taught to our second graders at St. Bartholomew in preparation for their reception of first holy Communion, and once their sacramental preparation classes are completed, they are expected to be able to explain it to their parents.

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The Eucharist and the forgiveness of sins

The Eucharist and the forgiveness of sins

| Father Michael Van Sloun | June 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

One of the greatest blessings and least known facts about the Eucharist is that, in the reception of holy Communion, a person’s venial sins are forgiven.

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The power of the Holy Spirit at confirmation

The power of the Holy Spirit at confirmation

| Father Michael Van Sloun | May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Confirmation imparts the gift of the Holy Spirit. The person who receives this sacrament has already received the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of baptism, and the Holy Spirit abides with a person always. The Holy Spirit comes when a person prays or reads Scripture, or when a person asks the Holy Spirit for guidance, inspiration or courage. Confirmation is not the new arrival of the Holy Spirit, but rather an intensification of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

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The powerful effects of the Eucharist

The powerful effects of the Eucharist

| Father Michael Van Sloun | April 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

The most holy body and blood of Christ, the Eucharist, is a rich source of abundant blessings, and it has many powerful effects.

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The biblical foundations of the Eucharist

The biblical foundations of the Eucharist

| Father Michael Van Sloun | March 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

Jesus instituted the Eucharist on Holy Thursday at the Last Supper, and the three Gospel accounts of the institution narrative, as well as St. Paul’s explanation of the tradition of the institution of the Eucharist, serve as the biblical basis for the sacrament of the Eucharist.

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The most important sacrament

The most important sacrament

| Father Michael Van Sloun | February 22, 2018 | 1 Comment

There was a time in the past when religious education classes were soft, when the students drew pictures, made collages and spoke about their feelings. But when it came to instruction, solid content was lacking.

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