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Saint Thomas More and Eucharistic Integrity

DARIEN, May 21, 2024 — The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage came to St. Thomas More Parish in Darien, Connecticut, for a period of adoration, Eucharistic hymns, the Rosary and other prayers.

Pastor Father Paul Murphy received the custodia containing the Holy Eucharist from pilgrim Father Stephen Rooney at the entrance to the Church and processed with the Blessed Sacrament to the altar, where he placed the Eucharistic Jesus within the pilgrim monstrance, initiating a lengthy period of adoration in which Fr. Murphy remained on his knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

After the recitation of the Rosary, Fr. Roger Landry, chaplain for the entirety of the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, gave a meditation on parish patron St. Thomas More and his reflections on the Holy Eucharist.

Father Landry said that, after the Protestant Reformation in 1517 and the troubles caused by Tyndale in England, Thomas More was a big defender of the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. In the sacrifice of the altar, Jesus gave himself "to" us and "for" us, More taught.

While in the tower of London in 1534, imprisoned for refusing to take oaths affirming that King Henry VIII was true head of the Church in England and that his second putative marriage to Anne Boleyn was valid and sacramental, More used charcoal to author a "Treatise on Receiving the Blessed Sacrament Sacramentally and Virtually," with virtually meaning in its full power. More emphasized that some receive the Sacrament but none of its power, because they receive poorly.

More is famous for his integrity of conscience and therefore, Landry said, it's unsurprising that he called himself and Catholics of his age to Eucharistic integrity, never receiving Jesus without being fit to receive him, free from sin and desirous to live fully in communion with him. He urged the believers of his day to receive Jesus into their home like the dimunitive Zacchaeus did in Jericho or the way we would receive a prince into our home, eliminating not just the "poisonous spiders" of mortal sins and the "cobwebs" of venial sins, but also the "loose straw" of imperfections, to the extent possible.

Fr. Landry then spoke of the Eucharistic Revival and how it is calling us to live with Eucharistic consistency in all parts of our life. He mentioned Pope Benedict XVI summoned us to the "Eucharistic form of Christian life," living in communion with Jesus and allowing that communion to pervade all aspects of existence. Landry suggested what this Eucharistic integrity might mean in the context of the four pillars of the parish phase of the Eucharistic Revival, the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Knowing and Teaching our Faith, and Going on Mission to bring others to the Eucharistic Jesus.

To listen to Father Landry's words, click here.

After his homily, there were Eucharistic hymns sung and then Benediction by Fr. Murphy, follow by pilgrim Fr. Stephen Rooney's transporting the Blessed Sacrament to the Pilgrims' support van to move on to the parish of St. Mary's in Stamford.


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