One of the things that I learned right away at the missions is that the faithful in Patzún are quite ernest. Being very Catholic one of the matters of faith is the presence of Jesus Christ, the real presence of Christ, in the Eucharist. Corpus Cristi – the Body of Christ, you see it in the name of the hospital. Christ is not metaphorically present but there, mysteriously transubstantiated from bread. Being American I took a couple whacks at updating their thinking, “Body of Christ means we the people of his Church.” Madre Carmen gave no ground. “We Catholics believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist”. That was the early 1990s. Today I am completely with Madre Carmen, witnessing to the presence of Christ and spending hours on my knees in prayer, Eucharistic Adoration as it is properly called. The stand above is called the monstrance. Jesus, in the form of the transubstantiated host, is displayed in the little round window at the center. The faithful watch and pray. It is one of the most beautiful and most solemn parts of our faith. In the USA it is attended not by large numbers but by faith-filled people.
The Sisters who operate the mission school, San Bernardino, asked us for a monstrance so the 1,100 students could actually see Jesus at Adoration. The priests on the 2012 mission trips put out a call throughout the diocese for a monstrance. A suitable one, retired from from one of our merged parishes, was located at St. Paul Seminary. It is pictured with seminarians Dan Waruszewski, Alek Schrenk and Jeff Craig. With this gift from the seminary Jesus will be worshiped and adored as He should be in the new chapel. Many hands are coming
together to complete the task. A group
from Waynesburg University is making a Thanksgiving working visit to the mission. Their leader agreed they would carry the monstrance with them and present it to Hermana Angela who heads San Bernardino. It is a gift to be able to worship the God who is, who was and who will always be. He doesn’t need our gold yet He delights in our presence. He longs to hear our prayers. “Engrave our hearts with lively sentiments of faith, hope and love, true repentance for our sins, and a firm purpose of abandonment.”*
*Paraphrased fragment from En Ego, Bone et Dulcissime Lesu.