Father Carrico reflects on Eucharist’s meaning in his life, priesthood

Father Adam Carrico, pastor of the Church of the Ascension, prepared for Communion during morning Mass May 23. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

For Father Adam Carrico, the Eucharist offers a clear path to becoming who we’re called to be — that is, more like Christ — and makes the difficulties of life less important.

The Church of the Ascension’s pastor said he often reflects on how challenging a life of discipleship can be, filled with distractions and responsibilities. But being a “eucharistic person” means having “the realization that it’s really less to do with us and more about who it is we’ve received and who we’re becoming — that allows us to kind of step away from the expectation and the monumental task that we are challenged with.”

Priests in particular are called to be representatives of Christ in a way that feeds people spiritually and literally, Father Carrico said. And the National Eucharistic Revival reminds him of his role in the sacrament.

“As individuals come forward to receive the Eucharist, I’m not only providing for them spiritually but also in a physical sort of way,” he said. “When we as priests talk about and recite the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, we are recognizing that he gave his body and that in that way we as priests also give ourselves.”

Father Carrico said his parish priest, the late Father John Dickman who served at St. Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley, Ky., serves as a role model for him and demonstrated what a eucharistic-minded priest looks like.

Father Dickman had Parkinson’s disease, a brain disorder that causes uncontrollable movements, difficulty with balance and coordination, and shaking.

“The whole combination of the priest’s hands and offering the Eucharist and his vulnerability but also his joy expressed through that suffering was really such a powerful experience for me in my younger years,” Father Carrico said. “The way in which he was able to live the Eucharist even in that suffering was such an inspiration to many, I’m sure.”

Father Carrico gave a Church of the Ascension parishioner Communion during morning Mass May 23. When parishioners receive Communion, Father Carrico said he’s “not only providing for them spiritually but also in a physical sort of way.” (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

Over the past several decades, Father Carrico said, “a lot of trust has eroded in priests,” and while he understands where that comes from, he wonders how it impacts peoples’ belief in the sacrament.

“I think we have to be challenged to recognize that we won’t have a true understanding of the Eucharist or of what the Eucharist calls us to become if we don’t also enter into the difficulty of seeking who the priest is meant to be and the belief in what he is able to do by his ordination.”

As a Catholic priest, Father Carrico sees the Eucharist as central to his life because receiving the Eucharist is “an invitation to become so infused by what we receive that we become more like him who we receive and are called upon to follow.”

It speaks directly to other aspects of his priesthood vows, such as celibacy, he said.

“We are giving ourselves to God and also to the church as whole persons with everything that we bring — our faults and failings but also our joy and our hope and our love for Christ and the church,” he said. “In that, we are putting all of that on the altar and inviting others to do the same.”

Fr. Adam Carrico invites the congregation to confirm its assent that Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament at that moment. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)
Kayla Bennett
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Kayla Bennett
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