Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

Diocese Gathers at Eucharistic Congress to Praise Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament

Bishop Alfred Schlert opened the Eucharistic Congress on Saturday (3/19) by quoting an old Latin prayer: “Adoremus in aeternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum,” which means, “We will praise you, Lord, forever in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

The Eucharistic Congress, a key part of the Diocese’s Year of the Real Presence celebration, was “a day of great spiritual benefit,” Bishop Schlert said. The day-long Congress took place at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena in Allentown. It was attended by 550 people from across the Diocese.

Bishop Schlert expressed gratitude for the “beautiful turnout” at the Congress, which attracted participants of all ages and backgrounds. He acknowledged the presence of the many high school students, and drew laughter with his shoutout to the diocesan seminarians sitting in the “cheering section” of the Cathedral’s Walson Center bleachers.

The event offered attendees a choice of three tracks: Adult, Youth and Young Adult, and Spanish language. Each track featured a keynote presentation, followed by a witness talk.

Renowned lecturer Monsignor Charles Pope, pastor of Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian Church in Washington, D.C., was the keynote speaker for the Adult track. Chief Digital Officer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Sarah Yaklic delivered the Youth and Young Adult keynote, and Father Angel García-Almodóvar, pastor of St. Margaret Parish, Reading, gave the keynote for Spanish-speaking attendees.

The day included a bilingual recitation of the rosary, as well as Adoration and Benediction, and Confessions. A solemn Vigil Mass celebrated by Bishop Schlert concluded the event.

In his homily, the Bishop noted that “We can often take for granted even the divine things among us, the Holy Eucharist being one of them.”

He exhorted the faithful not to “receive the Holy Eucharist rotely, but with great reverence.”

Building on what Monsignor Pope had said in his keynote, Bishop Schlert pointed out that the Holy Eucharist is “not a one-way street,” but an encounter that allows us to feel “the fire of divine love” that the disciples experienced on the way to Emmaus.

While Our Lord willingly gives each of us the “true Love, true Gift and true Sacrifice” of Himself, the Bishop emphasized, we have an obligation to “show our love back to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.”

Bishop Schlert declared the Year of Real Presence to reaffirm the centrality of the Holy Eucharist to the life of the Diocese, and to exhort the faithful to spend time in Adoration.

The Eucharistic Congress will bring about “many graces … for each of us personally, for our families and for our Diocese,” he asserted. “We didn't just kneel or sit or pray before the Blessed Sacrament, we basked in the Love of the Blessed Sacrament.”

He encouraged the faithful to witness to the Real Presence “day in and day out, to see Him always in the mystery of His Body and Blood.”

“By our belief, others will come to believe, too,” he said.

The Year of the Real Presence, which coincides with the 60th Anniversary of the Diocese of Allentown, will come to a close on June 19, 2022, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.