Welcome to the brand new Blessed Sacrament Parish Community website. We hope that this new website will be a source of information, formation, and inspiration for you and all who visit. It has taken five months to “rebuild” this website to reflect the parish community of Blessed Sacrament. In rebuilding our website, it makes me think of the vision that St. Francis of Assisi had in 1204. St. Bonaventure writes in Life of Francis:
“One day when Francis went out to meditate in the fields he was passing by the church of San Damiano which was threatening to collapse because of extreme age. Inspired by the Spirit, he went inside to pray.
Kneeling before an image of the Crucified, he was filled with great fervor and consolation as he prayed. While his tear-filled eyes were gazing at the Lord’s cross, he heard with his bodily ears a voice coming from the cross, telling him three times: ‘Francis, go and repair my house which, as you see, is falling into ruin.’
Trembling with fear, Francis was amazed at the sound of this astonishing voice, since he was alone in the church; and as he received in his heart the power of the divine words, he fell into a state of ecstasy. Returning finally to his senses, he prepared to put his whole heart into obeying the command he had received. He began zealously to repair the church materially, although the principle intention of the words referred to that Church which Christ purchased with his own blood, as the Holy Spirit afterward made him realize….” (emphasis added)
It might be a bit of a stretch to compare a website to this amazing story of St. Francis, but I do believe that it is applicable to our Church today.
It seems that our Church is in need of repair- that it is on the precipice of ruin. Maybe that’s what the media wants you to believe, but the Catholic Church is more alive with the Holy Spirit than the media would lead you to believe. Catholic means universal. It does not only refer to the priests, bishops, cardinals, and pope. It is you; it is me. We are the Church. The Body of Christ. Monsignor Joseph Illeg chose the name Blessed Sacrament for this parish because he saw that the parishioners are the Body of Christ and that this community strives to live as one in the Body of Christ.
We strive to live as one in the Body of Christ. We are all-encompassing. We are inclusive. We are NOT a country club. We are NOT a museum for the perfect. We (the Church) are beautiful in our brokenness. We (the Church) are not perfect, but we strive everyday to continue to rebuild the Church, flaws and all, and in rebuilding the Church, we are constantly reminded that we need to rebuild ourselves, to participate in the Eucharist to rebuild, refocus, and heal our souls. It is only in our participation in the Eucharist as a community that we are strengthened together to go be Christ’s hands and feet in the world.
I hope that this blog will be a place where we can continue to build up the Church by sharing stories of our own experiences of God, so that we might help others experience the presence of God in their lives.
I invite you to reflect on why you think it’s great to be Catholic, and if you feel so inclined, please feel free to email your reflections to firstname.lastname@example.org to be used on the blog or bulletin.
The Blessed Sacrament Parish Community Staff
Composed by Kristyn Russell