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Catholics believe the Eucharist, or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ's Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.

Special Features
The Sacraments: Eucharist

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What does the Eucharist mean to you?
We'll post selected responses in this feature.

What the Eucharist Means to Me: Our Readers Respond
As the Year of the Eucharist came to an end, 10 of our readers revealed how their lives were changed by the Body of Christ.

"Eucharist: Food for Mission"
Pope John Paul II's 2004 Message Eucharist and Mission

201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist
by Sister Patricia Proctor, O.S.C.

Newsletter Articles:
Catholic Update
"Eucharist: Heart of the Church"
John Paul II's encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia in condensed form

"The Liturgy of the Eucharist"
By William H. Shannon

"The Real Presence: Jesus' Gift to the Church"
by John Bookser Feister

"Eucharist: Sign and Source of Christian Unity"
by Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.

"Mass and Communion Service: What's the Difference?"
by Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.

"Eucharist: Understanding Christ's Body"
by William H. Shannon

"Participating Fully at Sunday Mass: An Adaptation of Gather Faithfully Together: A Guide for Sunday Mass"
by Cardinal Roger Mahony

"Real Presence in the Eucharist"
by Jeffrey D. VonLehmen

"First Communion: Joining the Family Table"
by Carol Luebering

"The Sacrament of the Eucharist: What Has Happened to My Devotion?"
by Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.

"A Walk Through the Mass: A Step-By-Step Explanation"
by Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M

"Is the Mass a Meal?"
by Charles Gusmer

Scripture From Scratch
"Jesus, Bread of Life"
by Virginia Smith

"The Eucharist"
by Thomas Bokenkotter

Youth Update

"Making Mass a Real Celebration: Tips on Planning"
by Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.

"Eucharist: Say Yes!"
by Mary Cummins Wlodarski

Millennium Monthly
"The Eucharist: A Foretaste of Heaven"
by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk

"Eucharist: The Mystical Body"
by John Gallen, S.J.

"Eucharist: The Real Presence"
by John Gallen, S.J.

Update Your Faith:

Is Jesus really present in the Eucharist?

May I receive Communion during a service in a non-Catholic church?

May Catholics give holy Communion to non-Catholics?

May I take the host to the cup and dip?

How many times may I receive holy Communion in one day?

How should we prepare for Communion in the home?

FAQs on other Sacraments

Click here to return to the main Sacraments page.

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Fidelis of Sigmaringen: If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life. 
<p>Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor. </p><p>As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers. </p><p>He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions. </p><p>He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed. </p><p>He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog Obedience means total surrender and wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor. All the difficulties that come in our work are the result of disobedience.

New from Richard Rohr!

Richard Rohr explores how to find God in the depths of silence.

Epic Food Fight
With humor and practical wit, Fr. Leo invites you to read, savor, and digest the truth of our faith in new and appetizing ways!
A Spiritual Banquet!

Whether you are new to cooking, highly experienced, or just enjoy good food, Table of Plenty invites you into experiencing meals as a sacred time.

Pope Francis!

Why did the pope choose the name Francis? Find out in this new book by Gina Loehr.

The Seven Last Words

By focusing on God's love for humanity expressed in the gift of Jesus, The Last Words of Jesus serves as a rich source of meditation throughout the year.

Easter Thursday
Jesus is calling each one of us to resurrection. How will you respond?
Easter Wednesday
May the Lord be with us as he was with the faithful on that first Easter.
Easter Tuesday
If you’re taking a break this week from work or school, keep in touch with a Catholic Greetings e-card.
Easter Monday
It’s not too late to send an Easter e-card to friends near and far. Let the celebration continue for 50 days!
Catholic Greetings and wish you a most holy and joyous Easter season!

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