Archbishop: ‘What do I bring to Eucharist?’

Recent First Communicants from St. John Vianney Church brought the gifts to the altar and received a blessing from Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre during the Corpus Christi Mass June 11. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

On the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre said he asks himself, “What hunger do I bring to the Eucharist? Or do I receive it as any other food?”

During a special feast day Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption June 11, the archbishop said Corpus Christi Sunday reminds him of special meals in his life.

He noted that he and his siblings would say, “I don’t eat that,” about certain foods their mother prepared. But his father didn’t care for their choice of words.

Archbishop Fabre prepared for Communion during the Corpus Christi Mass June 11 at the cathedral. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

“I remember he would tell us, ‘You should say, I am lucky I have never been hungry enough to have to eat that,’ ” the archbishop said.

Such hunger visited him later on, he explained, when as an adult he was traveling by train in Europe without adequate food for the long trip. 

A German couple sharing his train compartment noticed Archbishop Fabre’s glances toward their meal — cheese, fruit, bread — and offered him some of what they had. The man offered cantaloupe, which, the archbishop confessed, was one of the foods he’d told his parents he didn’t eat.

The chalice was offered during Mass for the first time since 2020 at the Corpus Christi Mass June 11. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

“I thought, ‘Dear God, let it not be the cantaloupe,’ ” Archbishop Fabre said with a laugh. “It was. I thanked him and commenced to eat the best cantaloupe I’ve ever had.”

Those memories, and that special meal, remind him that the Eucharist is a meal, he said.

“The Eucharist is a meal that invites us to share in the sacrificial memorial of Jesus Christ and his body, the church,” the archbishop said.

“On Corpus Christi Sunday I ask myself: What hunger do I bring to the Eucharist? Or do I receive it as any other food?”

Father Anthony Ngo blessed a young child during Communion June 11. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

If we “come to the Eucharist and lay bare to Jesus Christ the hungers of our life, then we are hungry enough to receive” Jesus Christ when everything else fails us, he said, adding, “Eventually everything will fail us … except the Eucharist.”

Corpus Christi weekend marked the return of the chalice during Masses across the Archdiocese of Louisville. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, permission to offer the Sacred Blood had been suspended. 

Although there was no announcement made, no fanfare to be had, most of the six chalices offered ran out, covered with the purificator before Communion was over.

Emily McCarty received the Sacred Blood during the Corpus Christi Mass celebrated June 11 at the Cathedral of the Assumption. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

Also scheduled for Corpus Christi Sunday was an archdiocesan Eucharistic procession set to take place throughout downtown Louisville. Due to the threat of severe weather, the procession was held inside the cathedral after the liturgy.

Archbishop Fabre told his listeners that the feast of Corpus Christi and the national Eucharistic Revival — now entering the year-long parish phase — invites Catholics to be mindful that they’re called to take Christ into their streets and communities.

“The Eucharist is not only a wonderful gift we receive but hopefully it’s something we bring to the world.”

Archdiocese of Louisville seminarian Deacon Matthew Millay placed the Sacred Host inside a monstrance for the Corpus Christi procession at the Cathedral of the Assumption June 11. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

Elsewhere in the archdiocese, Catholics took the Eucharist into neighborhoods and city sidewalks. Bardstown, Ky., provided the backdrop for a multi-parish Corpus Christ Procession that drew hundreds of Catholics from more than half a dozen parishes in and around the area.

Ascension Church parishioners and clergy traveled with the Eucharist in the parish neighborhood, stopping in driveways and along sidewalks for worship.

Archbishop Fabre knelt before the Eucharist during a Corpus Christi Procession June 11. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)
Due to inclement weather, the Corpus Christi procession scheduled to take place in downtown Louisville June 11 was held inside the Cathedral of the Assumption. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)
Archbishop Fabre carried the monstrance during the indoor procession June 11. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)
Members of the faithful read Scripture, prayed and sang hymns during the Corpus Christi procession June 11. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)
After processing around the cathedral, Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre placed the monstrance carrying the host on the altar. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)
Kayla Bennett
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Kayla Bennett
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