An Inspiring Diocesan Event for Teens with Father Patrick Baikauskas

“If our relationship with God is truly the most important relationship in our life, why don't our daily lives reflect that? If God has a plan for us, then why do we go about making plans without Him? Why are we not on our knees every morning thinking, praying, and trusting God with every moment of our entire day? Why are we afraid to just be ourselves?”

This was a question posed by Father Patrick Baikauskas, the “Eucharistic Preacher” at a special diocesan event for teens April 28 hosted by Holy Guardian Angels, Reading.

The event kicked off with a welcome from Father Allen Hoffa, pastor of Holy Guardian Angels, Reading, and introduction by Maggie Riggins, Executive Director for Evangelization and Formation for the Diocese of Allentown.

Father Baikauskas is one of 50 Eucharistic Preachers commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to travel across the country in advance of this summer’s National Eucharistic Congress. He is a Dominican Friar and Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Evangelization at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Mo.

Father Baikauskas highlighted the pressing need for a more profound commitment to living out the Christian faith.

“We are here on this earth and here in this community to teach one another to see the world differently,” he said. “To discover a loving God who has made us all to live big, beautiful, and meaningful lives. We’ll get there with the resources that our Father has sent us and that Jesus has passed on to us. We’ll get there through the way that we are nourished by the Word and by the Eucharist, by the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.”

He underscored the importance of aligning one’s beliefs with tangible actions, advocating for a transformative approach to living out the Gospel message.

“Sometimes we like to hide behind some institutional solutions to the problems that we have. We expect the Church to fix some of these big challenges. Or we want our governments to do it…. That’s why we're going to pay higher taxes to support the elderly rather than to think about spending more time with them. That's why it’s more likely that we may drop a few dollars in the collection basket instead of taking a homeless person to lunch. We like to subsidize and outsource the things that we're called to do for charity.”

“Our Eucharistic experience might start with Adoration tonight, but it cannot end with the Benediction. It must continue in our lives outside the four walls of this church. Jesus said, ‘Come after me and I will make you fishers of men and women.’”

By exemplifying the sacrificial love and commitment of saints, Father encouraged listeners to emulate their dedication to serving others and living out the teachings of Jesus Christ.

“Does everyone here know who Mother Teresa is?” he asked. “Mother Teresa was a missionary in India. She lived out her life caring for the poorest of the poor in the world. And many, many women took up her cause by following her example to care for the most wretched in the world.

“I’ve been to Haiti many times, and I have seen her sisters, taking care of 60 or 70 men and women who are dying every day. This is hard work. That’s what her sisters have been called to do. And what do her sisters do every day? They do Eucharistic Adoration for two hours every day, no matter how busy they are.”

Father Baikauskas also invoked the wisdom of St. Catharine of Siena, stating, “If you are what you should be, you'll set the whole world on fire.”

The event also included Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confession, fellowship, light refreshments, and a chance for the youth to greet both Father Baikauskas and Bishop Alfred Schlert.

Photos by Waldo Alvarado.


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