¡Hagan lío! Taking HIM to the streets!

From the Catholic Sentinel:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Attendance at Mass remains central to Catholics’ faith because they must be nourished by Jesus’ body and blood or they will not remain strong Catholics, said Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte.

“Take a moment to ask yourself: Why do you go to Mass?” he said in his homily for the closing Mass of the 2014 Eucharistic Congress in Charlotte.

He emphasized that Catholics need the Eucharist to remain focused on Christ and keep their faith alive.

“You need the Eucharist. You need Jesus. If you think you can live a Christian life without Jesus, you are mistaken,” he said at the Sept. 20 Mass. “You are not really living. A Catholic without the Eucharist will not remain a strong Catholic for long. One’s faith will become watered down, if he is not constantly being fed by Jesus.”

The 10th annual congress, organized by the Diocese of Charlotte, focused on the theme “Behold, I make all things new,” from Chapter 21, Verse 5 of the Book of Revelation. It drew an estimated 13,000 people to the Charlotte Convention Center for Mass and eucharistic adoration, confession, educational talks and music Sept. 19-20. [13k!]

“Sometimes if we are not careful,” Bishop Jugis said in his homily, “our Mass attendance can become routine,” a habit that Catholics don’t really think about.

[…]

During the congress, 7,000 Catholics participated in a eucharistic procession through downtown Charlotte.

Marie De Mayo, a member of St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte, recalled attendance at the first congress, when 3,500 Catholics processed through downtown — an unusual sight for the majority Protestant region.

“As the procession was moving along Tryon Street that first year, there were a lot of curious stares from non-Catholics, construction workers hanging on windows,” she told the Catholic News Herald, Charlotte’s diocesan newspaper. “Even policemen did not know what to make of the bishop, priests and devout Catholics in total devotion, silence and prayer.”

“As the Lord was passing and families knelt down, there was a hush of the real presence of Jesus blessing the people and the city,” she added.

Now, she said, “after 10 years, the numbers have increased greatly as more Catholics participate.”

Meno chiacchiere – più processioni. … Less jabbering – more processions.” 

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6 Responses to ¡Hagan lío! Taking HIM to the streets!

  1. catholiccomelately says:

    My husband and I were there, along with other members of our parish. It was such a joyous day! The procession was LONG and punctuated by parish banners, people singing, and others praying the rosary. The speakers were vibrant … especially our good Bishop! There was an English track, a Spanish track, a Vietnamese track … and tracks for kids, youth and young adults. Babies and children everywhere!
    Adoration went on all day, as did confessions (God bless our priests for their time and devotion .’… I waited in a continuous line for nearly an hour for the opportunity to confess and be absolved. Thousands of people want to Confession!) It was amazing.
    Dozens of vendors were there along with representatives for ministries and religious orders and pro- life organizations. My favorite t-shirt sold was one seen on many young people: “Let God Plan Parenthood! To my greats Joey I connected with a great local ministry promoting prayers for priests and the priesthood.
    The Bishop told us that it took the Diocesan officials, a steering committee, 30 subcommittees, and hundreds of volunteers to make this happen. May God bless them all for their efforts.
    How wonderful it was to come together and experience the wonder of our Eucharistic Lord on such a day.

  2. Andrew D says:

    I live within the Diocese of Charlotte and can tell you that the Church is alive and growing here. No parishes are being closed and attendance on Sundays is very good – filled to capacity in many parishes. This is also a Diocese where the Traditional Latin Mass is respected and growing as well. In addition to having a large number of seminarians when compared to other larger, more allegedly Catholic dioceses, at least three new priests that I know of in this Diocese, all within the past two years, gave their first Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Now THAT’S a blessing!

  3. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    13k is pretty good for a group, Catholics, who even 60 years ago in North Carolina were listed under “others”. Prior to then North Carolina was mission country, Catholics were found chiefly along the coast, and inland they were largely Lebanese merchants. Even 40 years ago Catholics were largely relocated Yankees. Now the times are changing.

    Catholics in North Carolina still need to recognize their circumstances in a largely Baptist world. Here in Dixie folks aren’t reluctant to talk about their faith and have been told things about the Catholic Faith that are wrong. So Catholics here must know well their catechism and be trained in apologetics (Let it be asked, Do Liberal Catholics know the Catechism and Apologetics?); e.g., Catholics need to propose an intelligent alternative to the reigning view here of the Redemption as penal substitutional atonement. Here Catholics also need to know Scripture very well indeed; e.g that Paul preaches a works-righteousness in Roman 2, and the efficacy of the incorporational Sacraments in Romans 6. (Let it be asked, Do Traditionalist Catholics know Scripture well?)

  4. TMKent says:

    I too am from Charlotte and took part (for the 10th time) in this amazing procession. Archbishop Kurtz was among the speakers, and I think he was quite frankly amazed at the Eucharistic devotion displayed. It was not uncommon to pass individuals kneeling on the city sidewalks as Our Lord went by. Runners and other curious uptown folk stopped to respectfully watch and quietly ask questions. Circumstances placed me in the front row at the final mass. I watched as thousands of people young and old knelt for the consecration on the cold concrete floor. My vantage point allowed me to notice that a significant portion of the communicants received on the tongue, many knelt and most everyone at least bowed deeply. Servers were all male and the Eucharist was distributed to the crowd by priests alone (all Saturday evening masses were cancelled throughout the diocese to encourage priest attendance). Each priest taking Our Lord out into the crowd was accompanied by a Knight of Columbus who had been instructed to watch out for potential desecration or abuse. We are so very blessed to have Bishop Jugis in our Diocese and our vocations are growing. Of the three young men ordained this past year, each had served or attended the congress in his youth. My parish alone (where we are beginning the TLM in Advent), has two seminarians. Now THAT is evangelization!

  5. Andrew D says:

    TMKent that’s great news about your parish offering the TLM. Which parish if I may ask? Mine is Sacred Heart in Salisbury and we are very blessed to offer the TLM on Sunday’s at 4:00. The other parishes I know of our St. Ann’s in Charlotte, Our Lady of Grace in Greensboro and Our Lady of the Angels in Marion. As these new priests take root in our diocese, I think and hope we’re going to see the TLM flourish here.

  6. TMKent says:

    Andrew D.
    I belong St. Thomas Aquinas near the University. We have already begun having a low mass on First Saturdays and I believe the plan is to do the same for a weeknight mass. Yesterday, the Catholic News Herald (Diocesan Newspaper) posted on Facebook an October/early November schedule of EF masses in the Charlotte area. St. Michael in Gastonia was also listed. You’d have to do a little bit of traveling around, but most days are covered and we at St Thomas will have our first Solemn High Mass on All Saints!