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Encounter Jesus - Pastoral Letter on the Holy Eucharist


A Pastoral Letter on the Holy Eucharist
for the clergy, religious and laity of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

The overwhelmingly positive response to last year’s Eucharistic Congress made it wonderfully clear that the people of our diocese are hungry for a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. What a beautiful sight it was to see more than 4,000 people of all ages and backgrounds converging at Auriesville to celebrate and receive Jesus in the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith. The Pastoral Letter that follows is a continuation of what we began on that beautiful fall day. Think of it as a mini-retreat, a springboard for your own reflection on what the Eucharist really is and what it means to you.

I am grateful for all of you who encouraged and collaborated with me in bringing this Pastoral Letter to fruition. Especially, I want to recognize Father Robert Longobucco, for his substantial work on its structure and content, and Fathers Anthony Barratt and David LeFort, and Mary DeTurris Poust, and their associates, for their invaluable help in the revision and editing of the drafts.

May I encourage you to read this Pastoral Letter slowly, to re-read it, to treat it like Lectio Divina, waiting for a phrase or sentence that speaks to your soul and then taking those words and turning them over in your heart, allowing the Spirit to speak to you. I hope it’s not too long, but you don’t have to rush through it. Take time to ponder, to contemplate and, hopefully, to enjoy. When you are finished, we can talk about it and share our insights. And what better time to get started than on the Feast of Corpus Christi. — Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger 

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