Fr. Michel Mulloy, Vicar General

The Diocese of Rapid City, at the desire of Bishop Gruss, will commence a Year of the Eucharist beginning on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ on June 23. Bishop Gruss seeks to deepen the faithful’s understanding and experience of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the hope of leading all in the diocese to a deeper encounter with the Lord. The priests welcomed this idea and a committee was formed to develop the plan and the materials.

The planning committee has focused on two primary areas. Susan Safford and the Pastoral Ministry Department are developing a series of formation activities that parishes will be able to use as their formation program for this coming year or as a supplement to the programs they have. They will also be providing resources that parishes can use to enhance their formation events this coming year.

The Liturgy Commission of the Diocese has been working with me to develop a series of short teachings that can be used throughout the Year of the Eucharist in the context of the celebration of the Mass. A series of homily outlines will also be prepared and offered to the priests to use in preaching about the Mass on certain Sundays of this coming year. These materials are being designed to both help the faithful understand what is happening in the celebration of the Mass and to inspire them to enter more deeply into the Mass and encounter the Lord present there with them.

There will be other activities planned by the Year of the Eucharist Committee and by your local parish. Our regular yearly gatherings like Pastoral Ministry Days and the Stewardship Summit will focus on the Eucharist. So too, will retreats and clergy gatherings. The materials outlined in this article are designed for everyone. They fit into our lives with little or no effort beyond what we are currently doing. Religious formation for children is a part of parish life and the schedules of parishioners with children. In this Year of the Eucharist families can continue to participate in these weekly events. The hope is that parishioners without children still at home  will, if they do not already, also take advantage of these regular events each week.

Similarly, we celebrate Mass weekly. The short weekly explanations offered during our weekend liturgies will help us all to grow in appreciation for the Mass and to encounter Christ more profoundly during our celebration. For those looking for more, more will be available through bulletin inserts, gatherings, podcasts and other online resources. For all of us, this Year of the Eucharist promises to be life changing and transformative. The Lord is waiting to

encounter us and longs to share his life with us. Make the decision to enter into these activities, to anticipate them and share your experience with one another over coffee, the business counter or the dinner table. Make this Year of the Eucharist the beginning of a more intentional discipleship.

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