A central teaching from Vatican II describes the Holy Eucharist as the source and summit of our faith, “for in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself,” (Lumen gentium, no. 11; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1324).
On March 22, about 35 catechists from schools and parishes throughout the Diocese of Orlando gathered at All Souls Catholic School in Sanford for an in-depth look at the Holy Eucharist. Led by Peter Randlov, principal of St. Peter Catholic School in Deland, the class was part of the Diocesan Catechist Certification Program (DCCP).
“The Eucharistic Prayer manifests who we are and what we believe,” Randlov said. “It shapes and transforms us as a people.”
The Holy Eucharist is the source of our faith in that it is the sacramental representation of Christ’s death on the cross, of his ultimate sacrifice for our salvation. As members of His Holy Church, it is a calling to us to receive this gift with grace and to grow in communion with God.
During his class, Randlov said the Holy Eucharist is the summit of our Liturgical celebration in that, “It is the prayer of the Church by which we manifest who we are and what we believe. It sums up our entire Christian lives.”
To further illustrate his point, Randlov provided details about the various parts of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and in the end, encouraged the catechists to be living examples, through their actions and teachings, of what it means to live a Eucharistic life.
The DCCP class is a fitting addition to Bishop John Noonan’s teaching on the Holy Eucharist.
“Holy Communion keeps us close to God,” Bishop Noonan said in a September, 2013 Florida Catholic column. “As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist enkindles God’s love within us.”
“Since Christ died for us out of love, when we celebrate the memorial of his death at the moment of sacrifice we ask that love may be granted to us by the coming of the Holy Spirit. Having received the gift of love, we live for God alone,” Bishop Noonan continued. “By this gift of love, we are able to forgive others as Jesus has forgiven us through His love for us.”
“With the many earthly distractions tempting us to turn from God, we may forget that we live for God alone. Each time we celebrate Eucharist, we are given an opportunity to commit ourselves once again to putting God first in our lives,” Bishop Noonan added.
The Diocesan Catechist Certification Program (DCCP) a faith formation program offered by the Diocese of Orlando’s Evangelization & Family Life Secretariat. The program is designed to provide comprehensive and systematic formation for those involved in parish-based catechetical ministries (catechesis of adults, young adults, youth and children). With various classes offered continually throughout the year, DCCP functions as a school for catechists. To learn more, visit the Faith Formation web page under Ministries/Offices.