As we continue the second year of the nationwide Eucharistic Revival, our gazes turn towards revival on a parish level and continued Eucharistic devotion.
“We’re trying to engage a deeper level of understanding of the Eucharist,” Fr. Butler says.
There are many things “on the go” here at St. John the Baptist. One of the most recent initiatives is the new small groups meeting regularly for study, fellowship, and deeper understanding of the Eucharist.
“The study format is really great,” Fr. Butler says.
The seven-week program comes from a study released by the Augustine Institute, which was designed specifically for this year’s theme on parish revival. Each session is 90 to 120 minutes and focuses on Jesus in the Eucharist. There is a video each week with an opening prayer, Lectio Divina meditation, Scripture readings, and discussion questions. The groups discuss the questions among themselves.
“There’s wonderful friendships that come out of that,” Fr. Butler says. “People share together, there’s a bond that happens. There’s something about that.”
As the groups began meeting in October, they will be wrapping up in December — but anyone can join at any time. For now, the groups have been meeting within the church walls, but the hope is to start up new groups in the new year and meet in parishioners’ homes.
“What we’re trying to do is make it more intimate,” Fr. Butler says. “The small group, it’s a really great dynamic for growing in intimacy with a group and their faith. It’s about trying to make the whole conversion process more effective. It’s a great dynamic and in small groups, everybody gets the chance to share — it’s more family-like, especially if it’s in a home. And food can be involved. It’s just so important.”
Because the program was specifically designed for this year in the Eucharistic Revival, parishioners have a unique opportunity to participate. It is what Fr. Butler considers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“People try to find fulfillment on their own, whereas God created us for Himself,” Fr. Butler says. “He continually invites us to Himself, the way Jesus chose to be present to us in the sacraments. Our culture can be living on the ‘junk food’ of secularism, rather than the feast of the Eucharist the Lord has given us. It is truly God’s presence, and there’s so much healing and wisdom that happens with the Lord in the Eucharist.”
For more information about this program or to sign up, contact the parish office at 815-498-2010.