Eucharistic Preacher Visits Reading, Encourages Active, Fruitful Participation

Holy Guardian Angels, Reading welcomed Eucharistic Preacher, Father Patrick Baikauskas, on April 29 for a passion-filled talk to explain and inspire Eucharistic faith and devotion in advance of the July 17-21 National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, Ind.

The event drew about 100 people, and started with Eucharistic Adoration with Bishop Alfred Schlert and Father Allen Hoffa, Pastor.

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 spoke about the Eucharist as “A Mystery to be Believed, Celebrated, and Lived.” He encouraged listeners to view the Sacrament of Holy Communion as an experience that’s “active, conscious, full and fruitful participation in the Eucharist,” noting that “Eucharistic Revival requires our active participation in the Eucharist.”

Father said that a common challenge in Eucharistic Revival is addressing “the fundamental issue of worship,” saying that Catholics first need to make Mass attendance a priority.

He talked of “cultural liturgies” such as preoccupation with entertainment, fashion, and social media as steering us away from God.

Reflecting on his young life, he said, “Sunday was for Mass; it was for family,” and movement away from these values, taking part in “cultural liturgies,” causes us to experience instability and “creates movement away from worship together.”

“If we don’t worship God, we will worship something else, and tragically, we’ll always end up worshipping ourselves,” he said, which is in conflict with the first commandment, “You shall not have false Gods before you.”

Father urged those attending to also remember the fourth commandment to “keep holy the Lord’s Day and join with Jesus in Sunday worship.”

“The Eucharist changes the dimension of what it is to be human,” he said, noting that we come together to worship as a Eucharistic community, whereas the cultural liturgies have us worshipping ourselves and our own needs in isolation.

He also spoke of the importance of the Liturgy of the Word in the Eucharist. “Hearing the Word of God gives us the hunger to be one with Jesus,” he said. “The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist – one flows into the other.”

He spoke of how the Eucharist requires our active participation in the liturgy and beyond. “The Eucharist is not something stagnant,” he said. “We must not only take the blessing, but bring the Eucharist into our ordinary life, so that we are what we celebrated. Be the Eucharistic presence in the world for others.”

To illustrate, he told a story from his life before the priesthood. He was shopping in a local market when a woman named Patricia came in and asked the store owner what she could purchase with what little money she had.

The owner told her that she had enough money for the day’s special and proceeded to make her a very large sandwich, using his finest bread, meats, and cheese. Patricia told the store owner, “Today, the Lord has made you one of His own.”

“We’re supposed to be generous,” said Father. “We’re called to minister for God, nourished by the Eucharist, which comes from the Holy Spirit. Eucharistic Revival invites us to reimagine our lives in unity.”

Bishop Schlert shared his comments after Father Patrick’s talk, thanking Father Patrick for “being a missionary of mercy and a Eucharistic minister,” and he encouraged the audience to take the Eucharist and share it “with a world that sorely needs it.”

For more information on the National Eucharistic Revival, go to

Photos by Nick Chismar.


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