We at the McGrath Institute for Church Life want to observe and celebrate Thanksgiving in a special way. On our radio show and podcast, Church Life Today, we shared five passages about the Eucharist and thanksgiving, with reflections to guide us into rediscovering how an exchange of thanksgiving occurs in the Sacrament of Sacraments. We know, of course, that the holiday Thanksgiving is not itself about the Eucharist. But this civic holiday is probably the closest in character to our religious holidays, and all the more because it is a feast dedicated to giving thanks. For those who revere and adore the Eucharist, we know that being transformed by that particular and unique “thanksgiving” should shape and transform our entire lives.
One of the most captivating stories in the Gospel to me has always been Jesus calling Peter out of the fishing boat, inviting Peter to join him on the rough seas in the middle of a storm (Matthew 14:22–33). The same way the Apostles find themselves on the boat, waiting and watching, lay ministers around the nation are waiting and watching to see what will happen with the Church in the coming months. There have been many phrases—“in this together,” “unprecedented,” or “brick-and-mortar”—that we never really thought we would use in such a way as we do now. The word that I have meditated and prayed with throughout these months—and the driving theme of my Faith Formation team at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Houston, Texas—has been “opportunity.” Although we have been intimidated these past months by crashing waves, howling winds, and loud thunder, there is an opportunity unlike any other, one that we are being called to walk toward together.
Built in 1831 as the headquarters for French missionaries working in northern Indiana, the Log Chapel was the first building on what is now Notre Dame’s campus. Fr. Sorin received the Log Chapel, along with the rest of the campus property, when he arrived in 1842. This one-room cabin with an attic served all of Notre Dame’s needs during its first year.
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In our previous post for this series, we attended to the art of memory as the cultivation of the imagination. Such memory is liturgical insofar as it enables us to perceive the “more” that is given in creation. An education devoid of memory makes it difficult to perceive the world in its richness.