Contact: Christopher Heffron
800-488-0488, ext. 209
Mary Jo Dangel

September 15, 2005     418 Words

Magazine Readers Share Their Reflections on the Eucharist

CINCINNATI—Ten readers of St. Anthony Messenger give moving testimonies about the meaning of the Eucharist in their lives in the October issue of the national, Catholic magazine. After September 20, “What the Eucharist Means to Me: Our Readers Respond,” edited by Christopher Heffron, an assistant editor of St. Anthony Messenger, can be found, after September 18, at:

Margaret Stripe, from Ontonagon, Michigan, writes, “I have always believed in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.” She recalls the time she gave the consecrated host to Ted, a resident at a long-term care facility, and “tears ran down my face, as I became aware of the privilege I had been granted.” A week later, Ted died.

Sara W. Manis, from Jamestown, Tennessee, is a convert who attests to the importance of the Eucharist in her life. “My previous religion had failed to satisfy my need for a deeper faith experience,” she explains. “The Real Presence in the Eucharist brought me to my spiritual home—the Catholic Church.”

Some readers have endured traumatic incidents. Virginia King, from West Roxbury, Massachusetts, recalls the “pain, anger and sadness” she has experienced as a victim of clergy sex abuse that happened over 50 years ago. The most important thing that has helped her healing process, she says, has been “the daily reception of the Holy Eucharist.”

When someone is seriously ill and doctors say there is nothing they can do, Elinor D. Matthews, from Sonoma, California, says there is something everyone can do: “Pray and receive Jesus in the Eucharist.” As a eucharistic minister in her parish, Elinor brings the Body of Christ to her daughter, Kerry, who has experienced serious health problems. “Words cannot express my feeling when Kerry thanks me for bringing Jesus to her.”

Writing from prison in Comstock, New York, Nick P. says that receiving the Eucharist each Saturday night is one of the few freedoms he is allowed. The “power of the Eucharist,” he says, “fortifies me and fills a large void left by the loss of family and friends.”

Although each reflection is vastly different from the others, all have a common theme: The Eucharist provides refuge for the weary, sustenance for the hungry and warmth for those left frozen by hardship.

These and many other testimonies about the Eucharist can be viewed at This interactive Web site also includes additional articles about the Catholic Church’s Year of the Eucharist, which ends in October, and gives surfers the opportunity to submit their own stories.


Permission is granted to reprint this release.


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