Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

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Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Emmanuel Magazine Archives

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A single enduring goal has guided Emmanuel throughout its history: to foster love for the Eucharist among the church’s ministers and members. In order to celebrate and share these wonderful insights gathered from 125 years of publishing excellence we offer this Emmanuel Archive. In these issues you will find feature articles by theologians who have long since become leaders in their field as well as pastoral insights from beloved ministers. Regular features include: Scripture reflections for homiletic and personal use, a pastoral commentary on the liturgy, eucharistic teaching and spirituality, reviews of books related to eucharistic theology, liturgy, prayer, ministry, and spirituality as well as examinations of Eucharist and culture.

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History of Emmanuel

In 1894, a general convention of the Priests’ Eucharistic League (PEL) was held at the University of Notre Damy. This group, led by Bishop Camillus P. Maes of Covington, Kentucky, and two monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Fr. Bede Maler, OSB, and Fr. Vincent Wagner, OSB, proposed a series of National Eucharistic Congresses to begin in the United States the following year. Since 1895, the U.S. has been host to nine National Eucharistic Congresses and two International Eucharistic Congresses (1926 & 1976): 
• 1895: Washington 
• 1901: St. Louis
• 1904: New York
• 1907: Pittsburgh
• 1911: Cincinnati
• 1926: Chicago (28th International Eucharistic Congress)
• 1930: Omaha
• 1935: Cleveland
• 1938: New Orleans
• 1941: Minneapolis-St. Paul
• 1976: Philadelphia (41st International Eucharistic Congress)

A fruit of the first national congress was the creation of a magazine for Eucharistic Spirituality: Emmanuel. When the Blessed Sacrament Community came to the United States in 1900, Bishop Maes approached the SSS to be chaplains for the PEL and administer Emmanuel. Each national and international Eucharistic Congress had its lectures and papers published in Emmanuel to share the riches of each event.


The Eucharist and Christian Unity is the theme of this issue. Here we approach from an appreciative perspective what differing Christian faith traditions share in common in their eucharistic theology and practice. Ernest Falardeau, SSS and Phil Hardt together explore the current state of Catholic-Methodist dialogue on the Eucharist. Michael DeSanctis discusses the shared values of eucharistic prayer and sacred space with pastors belonging to different Christian traditions. Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R. explores the unique eucharistic understanding of the beloved author C. S. Lewis. And Darren Maslen, SSS shares of his journey from the “eucharistic renaissance” of the Anglican tradition to a Catholic religious order dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament. The beauty and importance of Eucharist shines through each of these great articles.

Lent and Easter are times we often give to deeper prayer. In this issue we have a number of articles that will aid in one’s prayer-life. Michael DeSanctis offers a timely reflection upon the death of Jesus as portrayed in The Master of Rabenden’s marvelously sculpted Vesperbild (see front cover). John Zupez, SJ offers insights into why we call upon the intercession of the saints and Carlos X. Colorado gives us a model of prayer based upon the life of Saint Oscar Romero. At its heart prayer is about our relationship with God. To better understand this relationship Owen Cummings presents Ernest Skublics’ Trinitarian Theology and Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R. continues his series exploring the Eucharistic theology of well-known literary figures. Here he explores the theology of Charles Williams who envisions a place for romantic love in our understanding of God. May these reflections aid your journey through these liturgical seasons.

In this issue we have a number of articles that weave together a eucharistic spirituality with a spirituality of the priesthood. We are honored to present an article by Retired Brigadier General Patrick Dolan who reflects upon his priestly ministry as a military chaplain and offers “lessons learned” from an exceptional life of service. Father Richard Gribble, CSC remarks upon responsible leadership within the Church and the Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom. Father Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R. continues his examination of literary figures and their understanding of the Eucharist, this time delving into the work of Graham Greene and his observations of humanity and the priesthood. To these we add Michael DeSanctis’ exploration of the relationship between sharing meals and sharing the Eucharist, as well as Father Paul Bernier, SSS’s excellent scriptural reflections.

How do we share our faith? As theologian Stephen Bevans’ wonderfully articulates in his article “Going to Mass Backwards: Eucharist, Mission and Parish” Eucharist is inherently mission oriented. So, how do we share faith in our own unique and personal way? In this issue we approach this topic from a number of angles. Christian radio personality and popular speaker Mark McCann shares his vocation in “a ministry of words.” Darren Maslen, SSS offers creative insights into catechesis utilizing the imagination. While Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R. opens up the religious and eucharistic dimensions of Walker Percy’s literature. These, along with biblical scholar George Smiga’s insightful scripture commentary, provide numerous ways we might creatively live and share our faith.

Food, meals, the people we share meals with and places we gather to share meals all shape our understanding of Eucharist. In this issue we explore these interrelated topics. Meghan Murphy-Gill offers a theological reflection on the meaning of making bread, especially during Covid-19. Chef James Bartel not only offers a recipe for a eucharist-inspired meal but shares his own spirituality of cooking. Meal sharing gathers us around a table. Michael DeSanctis explores the history of the Christian altar, which began as a table. Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R. delves into the rich literary offerings of Rumer Godden, especially her popular novel In This House of Brede whose central drama unfolds as a Benedictine community of Nuns considers renovating their chapel and altar during the time of the Second Vatican Council. Stephanie Clary brings together sacrifice, food, and Eucharist in a thoughtful reflection on motherhood and breastfeeding. To all of this we add a healthy serving of scripture reflections by Biblical scholar Lisa Marie Belz, OSU.

This November/December issue of Emmanuel offers a wide variety of articles. Patrick Riley culls the pandemic writings and statements of Pope Francis to help distill Francis’ vision for “a post-pandemic world.” In a related fashion Michael DeSanctis examines trends among differing Christian traditions in their use of technology, sometimes even to the extent of abandoning sacred architecture. In an appreciative vein, Patrick Dolan identifies a number of Celtic influences in the Mass and how they can be utilized to enhance liturgical prayer. As the “Year of Saint Joseph” draws to a close James Kroeger, MM offers a reflection on how this important saint models mission. And scripture scholar Maribeth Howell, OP guides us through the Advent readings into Christmas in our Breaking the Word column. We wish you all a Blessed Christmas!