Excerpt from Bishop Schlert’s Letter
Sadly, 69% of Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist; that is to say, they do not believe the Holy Eucharist is Our Lord’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. This lack of such a core belief is manifested by a decline in Mass attendance. When the Diocese was founded in 1961, 67% of American Catholics attended Mass. Today, that number is 24%. While there have been many challenging disagreements and tragic revelations in the Church since 1961 that could be cited to explain this decline, we must also honestly say that there are other reasons for this lack of participation: an erosion in preaching, teaching, and belief that Christ is really present in the Holy Eucharist, as well as cultural influences and shifting societal priorities. For if one truly believes he or she really encounters Christ in Holy Communion, who would not run to meet our Eucharistic Lord? Nothing should separate us from the most intimate encounter with Our Savior. As a Diocese, this Year we will pray before the Most Blessed Sacrament for a return to the Real Presence of those who have been estranged, harmed, saddened, marginalized, and disaffected.
St. Joseph has two feast days on the liturgical calendar. The first is March 19—Joseph, the Husband of Mary. The second is May 1—Joseph, the Worker.
“Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God,” Pope John Paul II had once said.
Our Lady of Fatima Celebration