Bishop Mark Davies has announced a Year of the Eucharist for 2018 in Shrewsbury diocese, urging Catholics to grow in what St John Paul II called “Eucharistic amazement” each Sunday.
In a pastoral letter, Bishop Davies suggested two steps to help achieve this during Advent and Christmas.
“The first is to take time to genuflect, going down to our knees in adoration,” he said.
The second step, he said, quoting Pope Francis, was to visit the Blessed Sacrament reserved in our churches – “to speak filially with Him, to listen to Him in silence, and to peacefully entrust yourself to Him”.
News of Shrewsbury’s Year of the Eucharist comes as the bishops of England and Wales prepare for a National Eucharistic Congress next September. The gathering, taking place in Liverpool, has the theme “Adoremus/We Adore.”
Last month teachers, pupils and parents at all 86 schools in the Diocese of Nottingham came together for a day of Adoration. Bishop Patrick McKinney said that Adoration had been “neglected” in the Church in recent years and described his own daily practice of Adoration.
In his letter Bishop Davies recalled spending hours queuing to venerate Christ’s birthplace in the Church of the Nativity – an anticipation of Advent, he said. “Yet we have no need to journey as far as the cave of the Nativity or the empty tomb in Jerusalem to find Jesus Christ today.
“We make this pilgrimage together every Sunday – not merely to kiss the ground where Christ was born, but to meet this same Jesus waiting for us now in the Holy Eucharist,” he said.
Bishop Davies recommended crossing oneself when passing a church with the Blessed Sacrament reserved, even if the church was closed. He also said: “If our knees no longer allow us to kneel, then let us do the same in our hearts.”