Our school Masses are beautiful and exactly what our faith is about. (Photo credit: Emily Wise, used with permission)
Our school Masses are beautiful and exactly what our faith is about.

Photo credit: Emily Wise, used with permission

Mass: More Than Staring At the Whole School And Getting Overheated in These Yellow Sweaters

October 7, 2021

Why do we have the Mass and why is it so important? Why should we pay attention even though we are surrounded by our friends in the Brady Center for an hour? Let’s first look at the words from Jesus Himself, and then let’s discuss why it needs to be respected even if you aren’t Catholic. 

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me,” (John 6:54-57).

Ok, so if Jesus Himself said that the Eucharist is really His Body and Blood, I’m going to believe it. This is why we go to Mass, we go to do exactly what He said several times in the Gospels. It is the most important part of our faith as Catholics, and should be treated with respect.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins,’ (Matthew 26:26-28).

Sounds familiar, right? Jesus Himself literally started this. And He is still fully present in the Eucharist and at every Mass around the world. That is the most important thing I could possibly say in this article: Jesus is fully present in the Eucharist. And He wants to meet you where you are at and give Himself to you.

Why would Jesus do this? Why would He give Himself to us in this way, as He stated numerous times in the Gospels? It is because He is a loving God, and wants to give Himself to us in every possible way, completely. What do we do when we love someone? We hug them, we touch them. So, He makes Himself available to us in this way, and He remains within us. 

“The main thought is that when we receive the Eucharist, we receive everything from Jesus. He holds nothing back in the offering,” said Fr. Chuck Dornquast.

He remains with us even after that moment we receive Him, and we can grow closer to Him because of that. It is not a one-time thing, where we receive the Eucharist and, after that moment, it’s over. He remains with us after.

“Thus when we are not able to receive, because of situations, not laziness, we are able to draw from the previous moments of encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist and draw life once again. This is why the relationship with the Lord should deepen and mature over time as we receive more and more of what He gives us.”

So, if you aren’t Catholic and you are at Mass with us because the whole Academy community attends together, why should you stay respectful? First of all, I would like to say that if you aren’t Catholic, I don’t think any less of you and I love you. We just disagree about some things, which can bring about good, respectful conversations. If you want to have those conversations, I would love to discuss it with you. Also, if you are not Catholic, do not receive the Eucharist because that is sacred to us, and it is so special that it is worth becoming Catholic for. Now, reasons why you should stay respectful:

  1. The Academy of the Holy Names is a Catholic school, so it is something we are supposed to attend as a school. Please respect the faith of the school we attend. 
  2. This truly means something to those of us who are Catholic, so please be respectful so we can have our time for prayer. “I feel that we need to be respectful because we are in the presence of God. Even if you are not part of our faith, it is a courtesy to be respectful to the people practicing their faith,” says Eucharistic Minister Sara O’Connor (’22). 
  3. The whole elementary and middle school is watching you from across the aisle. They are being taught to be respectful and to pay attention, and you are role models that they will copy. 
  4. If you pay attention, you will learn something that you can apply to your beliefs. Whether it is through the readings or a good message from the priest’s homily, something will apply to you. Junior Linnea Nestor says, “I think the homily speaks to all people, even if you aren’t religious. Being grateful what you have and not focusing on what you did get is an important life lesson [from a recent homily].”

Thank you to all of the readers, Eucharistic Ministers, gift bearers, and to everyone who attends respectfully. Thank you for helping us properly worship the Lord. 

To learn more, stop by Peer Faith Club during Thursday’s advisory! The last Thursday of the month we have coffee and donuts, and the other Thursdays we play games together and pray together. It is pretty much a youth group in school. Whether you are Catholic or not, you are welcome, stop by and see!

Here is Hannah Bruty A’21 and my testimonies about the Eucharist. This is why, as Eucharistic Ministers, we care, and how I personally came to the point of being able to write articles like this.

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  • Dawn ToomerJan 9, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Thank you for being brave and sharing!