It has been over a month since Sister Pat, Alicja Krivicky and I (Ruth McConkey) returned from the Adoremus conference in Liverpool. In the words of the Catholic Bishops’ Congress, Adoremus was: ‘A unique opportunity for the Church to gather and reflect on the centrality of the Eucharist and particularly to explore the place of Eucharistic Adoration.”
Alongside 4,000 pilgrims from all over England and Wales we spent three days in talks, workshops, Mass and Adoration all reflecting on the Eucharist and its role in our lives, churches and communities. If you are able I thoroughly recommend that you explore the congress website where you will find videos of the conference, downloadable resources and more. For those of you less technologically inclined there are Eucharistic Reflection pamphlets available at the back of the Church this weekend to help you contemplate some of the topics discussed.
Below, Sister Pat shares her reflections on what was an extraordinary weekend…
‘As I look back in a more reflective mode at the wonderful experience of the Eucharistic Congress many images and thoughts come to mind. First, the huge participation by all the dioceses of England and Wales. This made the event a very striking testimony to the fact that the faith is alive, and people are willing and thirsty to deepen their love and understanding of the great mystery of the real Presence of Jesus among us.
Many experiences will remain with me, among them the many meaningful conversations held with people I knew and many I had only just met… conversations about Jesus and who He is for us and for us as the Church. If I could share one thing with you, it would be the riveting talks of Bishop Robert Barron. He spoke movingly about the Mass, which we begin by signing the cross on our body.
“I signal that I live in Trinitarian love of God, I signal it on my body, I claim with my body, on my body who I am.” These words have resonated within me every time I come to Mass.
He spoke too on the importance of the final invitation at the end of the Mass: Go the Mass is ended, Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord. These words are, he said, the Lord’s invitation to you and me today to ‘Christ-ify’ the world, it needs us. Each meeting with Jesus in Mass, where we share in the Eucharist together, is a call for us to go and act on what we have heard in His Word.
A final picture to leave with you. I carry in my mind’s eye the amazing carpet of flowers in Liverpool Cathedral depicting the Eucharist (shown in the picture). Its very size demonstrated so much love, care, respect and devotion. The intense concentration of love, involvement and witness of prayer during the Masses and Adoration were tangible signs that Jesus is truly alive and among us today, if we only have the courage to take time to reflect and share together the precious gift of his Presence in word and action.”