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


A team of biblical and pastoral theologians associated with Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, will write our scriptural reflections this year. We are deeply grateful to 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, New York, for taking on this project.

You’ll notice that this issue contains a few shorter articles. Some of you have told us that you prefer more concise writing.

We bring you the final installments of two articles: Maryknoller James H. Kroeger’s reflection on Pope Francis’ foundational insights on the priesthood and Sister Catherine Marie Caron’s essay on the Gift of Self in the life of Saint Peter Julian Eymard. But there is much more for you to read and to ponder. Blessings on your journey!

This issue of Emmanuel is an appeal for balance in life, especially in the lives of those who serve in the ordained ministry and in other roles of pastoral and spiritual leadership. We must not neglect ourselves. We mustn’t succumb to the societal pull of “workaholism” and its debilitating effects.

In reading and editing the copy for this issue, I was struck by the German philosopher Josef Pieper’s preoccupation with the “relationship between work and play . . . how festivity involves the whole of existence, and . . . affirmation is at the very heart of all Christian worship.” Redemptorist Dennis Billy says in his article on Pieper: “He saw the Eucharist, first and foremost, as a time for rejoicing in the love of Christ and thus a festive celebration.”

Jesuit Peter Schineller encourages us to see the spirituality inherent in the seasons of summer and fall, summarized in the following sentences from his reflection: “Summer invites us to a more contemplative approach to ordinary things”; “Tis easier to find God in the summer”; and “Even as we delight in autumn’s beauty, we also feel a sense of impending loss. Perhaps there is a sense of beauty even in letting go.”

Dorothy Day was a woman of complexity: an ideologue who in her youth underwent a powerful conversion and embraced the Gospel as the true path to liberation; a devoted mother and a public figure; a traditional Catholic and an activist who challenged both Church and society. You’ll discover in Redemptorist Dennis Billy’s essay how central the Eucharist was to Dorothy’s faith and to her advocacy.

Begin there . . . and move on to other articles that witness as well to a Eucharist which can change lives and renew the world; and also Sister Dianne Bergant’s reflections on the Sunday and solemnity readings for the months of July and August.

We give witness, of course, to God’s truth as we know and understand it as it has been revealed to us by Jesus Christ in his teachings and example. This is important in an age when falsehood often presents itself as truth.

We witness to integrity of life. In the ordination rite of priests, the bishop instructs those who are being called to the presbyterate: “Your ministry will perfect the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful by uniting it with Christ’s sacrifice, the sacrifice which is offered sacramentally through your hands. Know what you are doing and imitate the mystery you celebrate. In the memorial of the Lord’s death and resurrection, make every effort to die to sin and to walk in the new life of Christ.”

We witness to the transcendent. It is often said that many today have an attention span of about ten minutes and little or no sense of history beyond their immediate experience and context. It is a challenge, then, to invite people to consider something greater than self — God — and to invite them into a relationship with the author and goal of our human existence. The paradox, however, is that the meeting point with the transcendent, the divine, is for us as Catholics the very intimate act of sharing word, and bread and wine, Christ’s body
and blood, at the table of the Eucharist. May this issue of Emmanuel strengthen your faith and your witness

I believe you will find this issue to be quite rich. There are theological works, reflections on family life and on priestly ministry in the light of the Eucharist, and meditations for the close of the year, the start of the new liturgical year, and the coming Advent season and Christmas.