A Program for the Year of the Eucharist
In his Apostolic Letter "Stay with us Lord" issued on 7 October 2004, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, invited all Catholics to dedicate the current year to the Eucharist: "May it encourage a more lively fervent celebration of the Eucharist, leading to a Christian life transformed by love." (Mane Nobiscum Domine n. 29)
The Australian Bishops have responded to the Holy Father's invitation and now offer the program "Sunday: Sacrament of Easter" to the Australian Church as a means of enlivening our celebration of the Eucharist and to encourage devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The program focuses on the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist as this is the celebration most familiar to us all. As St. Augustine calls Sunday: "a Sacrament of Easter" (Dies Domini n. 19), this program is built around the season of Easter. To help us in this
program, we are turning to the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter "Dies Domini: a guide to keeping Sunday holy" as a source for reflecting upon our celebration of Sunday.
Beside this study of the Pope's wisdom in the context of the Gospels of the Sundays of Easter, we would also like to invite you to spend some time in adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. We propose a parish Mission for the week leading up to the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ as an opportunity for you and your parish community to focus your adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In the words of the Pope, John Paul II: "If the only result of this Year were the revival in all Christian communities of the celebration of Sunday Mass and an increase in Eucharistic worship outside Mass, the Year of Grace would be abundantly successful." (Mane Nobiscum Domine n. 29)
May this program enrich the faith of all who participate in it.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Kevin Manning
Diocese of Parramatta
Chairman, National Liturgical Commission
1 January 2005