Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Emmanuel Magazine Archives


We hope you are enjoying and using Carmelite Sister Mary Grace Melcher’s powerful intercessions and concluding prayer on mercy and the Eucharist for the Sunday and solemnity Universal Prayers of the Year of Mercy. These are meant to complement those you prepare and pray locally.

Two articles in this issue focus on the theme of mercy: “Table of Mercy” and “Laudato Si — On Care for Our Common Home and the Eucharist,” written by Robert Stark, SSS. Another Blessed Sacrament priest, Vittore Boccardi, shares more about the cultural and ecclesial context of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress scheduled for Cebu in the Philippines at the end of January, as well as excerpts from the basic text of the congress.

As always, you will find much to nourish your spirituality, your prayer life, and your ministry in this issue. A blessed and joyous 2016 to you!

You’ll find much for fruitful reading and meditation in this issue, which is certainly right for the final weeks of Lent, the Sacred Triduum, Easter, and the Easter Season.

We feature two lengthy reflections, both of which I suggest you read in smaller sections over several sittings. The first, on the Jewish prophet Jonah, reveals a person whose ministry and underlying attitudes represent the very antithesis of divine mercy. Owen Cummings helps us to understand Jonah’s world and the biblical story’s enduring challenge. The second is Capuchin Ed Foley’s beautiful examination of the theology and liturgy of The Friday We Call Good.

Ending where we began, Dennis Billy, CSsR, introduces us to the theology and eucharistic teaching of the late Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner.

Prayer and spirituality ground this issue of Emmanuel, which includes lighter reading for the transition to summer. John Christman, SSS, introduces us to Cleveland contemplative nun Mother Mary Thomas, whose zeal for the Eucharist is expressed both in prayer and in the murals she creates. Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS, offers a series of reflections and questions on the eucharistic undertones of some popular films, and Victor M. Parachin has written an overview of Teresa of Avila, whose 500th anniversary of birth was last year.

Roger J. Landry, a priest serving in the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, shares a homiletic reflection on the consecrated life.

The summer issue of Emmanuel focuses on the relationship between the Eucharist and justice, something we have done now for many years.

I suggest you begin with Jesuit Peter Schineller’s take on those with whom Jesus spent time and to whom he ministered. The Gospel of Luke is our point of entry into the world of Jesus’ preaching and ministry. Owen Cummings, deacon and academic dean at Oregon’s Mount Angel Seminary, shares a very powerful reflection on the meaning of mercy. And Victor Parachin writes of the determination of the late Cesar Chavez to ensure better working conditions and pay for the thousands of field laborers who harvest the fruits and vegetables and crops we enjoy so abundantly, in season and out of season. These, and so much more, await you!

At the start of a new pastoral year, Robert Nogosek, CSC, shares the conclusion of his article on “Integrating Social Teaching with Evangelization.” Owen F. Cummings, deacon and academic dean at Oregon’s Mount Angel Seminary, examines the theology of mercy and love in the Gospels of Luke and John. We are grateful to Owen for his beautiful Year of Mercy reflections which enrich our understanding and living of divine mercy as disciples and ministers. Dennis J. Billy, CSsR, writes another in his excellent series on various writers and the Eucharist, highlighting here the writings and sermons of Ronald Knox, the Anglican convert and Catholic priest.

I am very pleased to announce that a team of three biblical and pastoral theologians, all associated with Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, will write our reflections on the Sunday readings during the year 2017. They are: Dianne Bergant, CSA, the Carroll Stuhlmueller, CP, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Old Testament Studies; John R. Barker, OFM, Assistant Professor of Old Testament Studies; and Barbara Shanahan, director of the Catholic Biblical Studies Program in the Diocese of Buffalo. We are deeply grateful to them for taking on this project for us.

At the same time, I thank Anthony Marshall, SSS, for writing the biblical reflections for the concluding three-year cycle. It’s a monumental task of about 180 columns over that span of time, and he has done admirably. Anthony is a young priest and preacher, and he loves the word of God and the church.