From St Peter Claver to Holy Spirit of Mpaka at Pointe Noire, passing by St Benedict of Nganga Lingolo – all SSS parishes – the hearth was set alight by the fire of the Eucharist: it was the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
The prelude to this Feast was the organisation of the “Eucharistic Week” on the theme proposed by the Regional Council: The Church lives from the Eucharist. During this week Christians of our parishes were well instructed and nourished, not with manna, but with solid teachings related to the Eucharist, and an enormous participation of the faithful was evident in the course of these Eucharistic days, showing how people are hungry and thirsty for the living God.
The culminating point was the solemnity of the Blessed Sacrament at the parish of St Peter Claver, where on the eve of Feast 259 catechumens were baptised, and then on Feast itself, presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio of the Congo and Gabon, Archbishop Francisco Escalente Molina, 366 baptised persons received Christ’s Body and Blood in Holy Communion for the first time.
In his homily, after paying tribute to St Peter-Julian Eymard, the Nuncio highlighted the importance of the Eucharist in the life of the Church and in our life. He said in essence: “The Church springs from the Eucharist, because from its beginning there is the Memorial that Jesus left to the apostles and that he told them to perpetuate or to continue... ‘take and eat, this is my body... this is my blood... do this in memory of me.’” And he continued his homily, saying: “the first community of the early Church lived from the Eucharist, indeed the first Christians were devoted in prayer, they lived in fraternal communion the Lord’s day, after having celebrated the Memorial of his passion they broke bread and shared it. This ancient practice of the celebration of the Eucharist continues to this day throughout the world.”
The celebration reached its apotheosis with the procession of the Blessed Sacrament in the neighbourhood accompanied, as in the book of the Apocalypse of St John, by the “immense throng,”: “God visits his people.”
After the celebration, the parish community shared a meal on the green grounds of the parish. This was a lovely feast!
Fr Jean De Dieu Passy, sss
Parish Priest of Saint Peter Claver