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We can’t just talk about Christ’s presence in the Eucharist; we have to believe it, celebrate it, and live it both individually and as a community of the faithful. And we must cultivate a culture in our parishes that treats Real Presence not only as an important Catholic doctrine, but also as the most important part of parish identity.

In Becoming Eucharistic People, theologian Timothy P. O’Malley, author of Real Presence, outlines four essential dimensions of a Eucharistic culture in a parish—one that fosters reverence and unity among the faithful, includes every dimension of human life in the mystery of Christ’s Body and Blood, and invites people back to parish life or to become Catholic for the first time.

O’Malley—director of education at the McGrath Institute of Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, academic director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, and a member of the executive planning team for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Eucharistic Revival—shows what it means to foster a parish culture where the Eucharist infuses the worldview, priorities, and practices of its members. O’Malley leads you through discovery and discernment about how to create a parish culture where each person is called to holiness and receives the spiritual, theological, and pastoral help they need to meet Christ fully present in the Eucharist and to become a witness to him in the world.

O’Malley will help you reflect on four essential facets of a Eucharistic parish culture:

  • liturgies of joyful reverence that celebrate the gifts of diversity;
  • formation that engages the mind, imagination, understanding, and will;
  • a rich life of popular piety and the vibrancy of the domestic Church; and
  • a commitment to solidarity with your neighbor.

O’Malley says that when we reflect Christ’s Real Presence to others, our parishes will become sacred spaces in which every person is led to deeper communion with God and with their neighbors.

Online resources, including ideas for parish retreats, teaching resources, and videos based on this book and the US bishops Eucharistic Revival are available from the McGrath Institute for Church Life.

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