Teaching the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist

Various studies in recent years have revealed a disturbing fact: less than half of people who identify as Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a central tenet of our Catholic faith. We believe that, in the Eucharist, Jesus Christ is truly though mysteriously present to us under the appearance of ordinary bread and wine. Is this a difficult concept to teach to children […]

Real Presence in the Eucharist

The subject of the Real Presence in the Eucharist came up during a lunchtime conversation. I am always a bit surprised to hear Catholics question what to me is a central tenet of our faith. I am reminded that unity of faith may be more an ideal than a reality. The question was left unanswered, but caused my reflection on what I really believe, and why, and what difference it makes in my ministry. Some […]

Practicing Real Presence

Sometimes we make theological concepts harder to understand than is necessary. One such is example is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. I tell parents all the time that practicing real presence is one of the highest demands of parenting. As a parent, you make every effort to be truly present to your child, especially for special occasions such as his or her birthday, first day of school, graduation, recitals, and big games. Likewise, you […]

Leading Others to an Experience of the Real Presence

Many years ago I was challenged by a high school student who accused me of telling her what to believe. We were discussing Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians regarding receiving the Eucharist unworthily (1 Corinthians 11) and whether or not Catholics must believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion in order to “receive worthily.” The idea that she must believe this to be true in order to receive the Eucharist bothered […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 6: Real Presence

This is the sixth article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Polls show that many Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. If so many adults don’t understand it, how can catechists help children to learn this and take it to heart? Begin with Catechists Catechists should be encouraged to live the Real Presence by receiving Eucharist regularly, learning about its meaning, and […]

Catechists in Action: Nick Concludes His Lesson

In this segment of Catechists in Action, fifth-grade catechist Nick Yonto wraps up his lesson on the Eucharist. Watch for the following as Nick: invites the children to remember the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and prods them to re-construct the story. emphasizes how Jesus is recognized in the breaking of the bread and links the discussion to the BIG IDEA of his class: Eucharist. invites the children imagine they […]