17 June 2014

Bishop Paprocki to issue pastoral letter on celebrating and adoring the Eucharist

PHOTO: Paul Hafel
As he celebrates the fourth anniversary of his installation as Bishop of Springfield in Illinois this June 22 (the feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, which this year coincides with - and is supplanted by - the Solemnity of Corpus Christi), His Excellency the Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki will issue his first pastoral letter to the flock entrusted to his care.

Titled Ars Celebrandi et Adorandi (A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois on the Art of Celebrating the Eucharistic Liturgy Properly and Adoring the Lord in the Eucharist Devoutly), Bishop Paprocki uses the occasion of the Church's celebration of the mystery of the Eucharist to remind the faithful that "we are never far from Jesus" who is always present to us in his tabernacles (7).

Ars Celebrandi et Adorandi consists of eight sections and reflects on the presence of Christ in history and of the growth in the Church through beauty and the Liturgy, which leads him to reflect on the ars celebrandi and proper reverence for the Eucharistic Lord.

When discussing the reservation and adoration of the Holy Eucharist, Bishop Paprocki directs that tabernacles be restored to the center of the sanctuary if they have been from it (23). This section is likely to receive widespread attention.

Bishop Paprocki also cites Pope Francis' plea that church doors be open to the faithful, "so that if someone, moved by the Spirit, comes looking for God, he or she will not find a closed door" (26; Evangelii Gaudium, 47).

The Bishop also uses his pastoral letter to explain the importance of genuflecting and to encourage the restoration of Eucharistic processions, especially on Corpus Christi, throughout the Diocese as a means of professing our faith (34).

The faithful of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will be receiving Ars Celebrandi et Adorandi in the mail this weekend and the full text will be placed on the Diocesan web site in the coming days.

Once the full text is up, I will link to it here. The points of the pastoral letter, which I have highlighted above, were mentioned in an article published in the June 15, 2014 issue of the Catholic Times (which is not yet available online); I will write more about the letter once the full text has been received.