Associates Ongoing Formation

Welcome to the Ongoing Formation Page

On this page you will find numerous resources to deepen your eucharistic spirituality and connect you to Blessed Sacrament Associates across the country. The material here is updated regularly to reflect the life of the Associates today.

The Coronavirus has affected our lives in so many ways. As a people dedicated to the Eucharist we find ourselves asking, “Where is God in this now?” and “How do we practice communion and social distancing?” Members of the Eymardian family from across the country are offering their creative thoughts, ideas, prayers and liturgical resources below. Please join the conversation and help us Be Eucharist to each other and our world.

Note: To access the May/June issue (Eucharist and the Care of Creation) of Emmanuel magazine, please go to https://emmanuelpublishing.org. And a reminder for any Associate who wants a free one-year digital subscription to Emmanuel magazine, go to the bottom of this site and click on “Emmanuel Magazine Subscription Offer for Associates” for instructions to subscribe.

Liturgy

Eucharistic Living & Evangelizing

Reflections

Aids/Resources

Comments

Eucharistic Reflection – Marriage from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection – Sharing a Meal from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection – Sacramental Presence from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection – Gift of Creation from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection Seeing the Face of God from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection – St Eymard the Educator from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection Emmaus Story from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection Second Sunday of Easter from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection Easter from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection Good Friday from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Reflection Holy Thursday from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Eucharistic Stations of The Cross from Emmanuel Art on Vimeo.

Liturgy

Corpus Christi Church – Houston Texas
Live Streaming – Transmisión en Vivo

Streamed live every Sunday: 10:00 am Mass (central time) in English, followed by a noon Mass (central time) in Spanish.

Transmisión en vivo todos los domingos: Misa en inglés a las 10:00 a.m. (hora de la zona central CST), seguida de Misa en español a las 12:00 p.m. (hora de la zona central CST).

Saint Vincent de Paul Church – Holiday Florida
Saint Stephens Church – Winter Springs Florida
Mass streamed live Sunday at 9:00 AM EST
Saint Paschal Baylon – Highland Heights Ohio
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March 31
Patrick Riley
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – St Paschal Baylon Church – Highland Hts OH

Reflection on Urbi et Orbi

I believe that one of the most profound and moving religious events took place In Saint Peter’s Square on Friday, March 27. It was dusk and darkening and it was raining. The Square was empty. Two sacred images from Roman churches were on display on either side of the center doors of the basilica. Both images have been central figures over the centuries with supplication and procession in times of plagues and epidemics. The icon of Mary, Savior of the Roman People was brought from Saint Mary Major Basilica and a crucifix from the church of San Marcello. On March 15 Pope Francis had made a pilgrimage to these two churches to pray in front of these images for the end of the world-wide pandemic. …READ MORE

Eucharistic Living & Evangelizing

The Helping Hands ministry at St. Paschal Baylon Church in Highland Heights, Ohio was featured in a story recently on the front page of The News-Herald (Cuyahoga County edition). Fellow Daily Eucharistic Reflections writer Rick Costanzo is one of the co-leaders of this ministry and is mentioned in the article. Associate of the Blessed Sacrament Kathleen Catanese is also involved in the food preparation for this weekly ministry.
The Knight Riders were also featured on WKYC Channel 3 News (Cleveland Ohio)
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COVID-19 Protective Mask Project at St Stephen Church – Florida
Diana McGinty – Associate of the Blessed Sacrament

The only thing consistent these past few weeks has been constant change as we all experience this pandemic.  The St. Stephen Face Mask project started with a conversation our pastor, Fr. John Bluett had with Todd Husty, Seminole County Medical Director who shared the critical need for protective face masks for our local medical personnel.  Fr. John tends to move into action quickly when a need arises. Within 24 hours, I received a call from Fr. John as did others in leadership roles within our parish with the details of the project and the final instruction of, “We need all boots on the ground and as Nike says, Just Do It.” …READ MORE

Reflections

Some eucharistic challenges and graces of the present moment

May 7
Father Paul Bernier, SSS
St Paschal Baylon Church

How to Be a Eucharistic People in a Time of Isolation
None of us has ever experienced a situation where all our ordinary means of contact with God have been taken away from us. No community Masses in our churches, no getting together for prayer or adoration. We are left alone to maintain and deepen our relationship with God. Oh, we can watch the Mass on television, and pray the rosary along with others on EWTN.  But it isn’t the same. Are there any other things we should be doing in this time of social distancing?…READ MORE

April 30
Felice Werwin – Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – St Philip Church, Norwalk, CT

A Reflection on Our Recent Weeks through the End of Lent and the Glorious Days of this Easter Season
As I reflect on the liturgical readings since we began our journey through Lent to our most recent days of Easter Season, I have come to understand more fully the meaning of a journey from the darkness into the light of Christ.
As we read in Scripture, we can see that darkness was present since the beginning of time. However, it is only now that I’m beginning to recognize the darkness in the suffering endured by those who have gone before us. So many lived through the atrocities of war, disease, famine, natural disaster, to name just a few.  Today, we have but a glimpse of the reality of those times as we endure the darkness of this recent pandemic.  …READ MORE

April 24
Dr Billy Stewart – Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – San Antonio TX

Absence, Indifference, and the Real Presence
We have all heard the phrase, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder!” What we didn’t know is that we would all be living this out for an indefinite period of time as we shelter in place during the current pandemic, especially during Lent and beyond. For many of us it has provided the time for deeper contemplation and meditation on the passion, the resurrection and the real presence. …READ MORE

April 24
Br Michael Perez, SSS and George Peko – Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – St Paschal Baylon Church – Highland Hts OH

Living Eucharistic Spirituality Without the Eucharist
Our world is experiencing tremendous suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic 2020. In their deep concern for the safety of the citizens placed under their care, the local governors have ordered the closure of all public places of gathering. Our Catholic bishops in concert with civil authorities have requested that the faithful not gather publicly for the celebration of the Eucharist, as a means to contain the virus. However, in these difficult times, where there is fear, sickness, and even death, the faithful have a heightened desire to attend Mass and be nourished by the Eucharist. These events are unprecedented, startling, and leave us wondering what to do. Watching Mass on television or listening to Mass on the radio never seemed a meaningful option for many of us. This begs the question, “Why would Christ allow for a time without our ability to receive his eucharistic presence?” Reflecting upon this question during this difficult time, we find that the answer is to bring us closer to those who have not been able to receive the Eucharist, past and present. …READ MORE

April 15
Father Darren Maslen, SSS, D.Min.
Superior, Blessed Sacrament Chapel – Dublin, Ireland

Resurrection’s Invitation to Being Reconciled to Life
One of the paradoxes of living in this highly visual age is how we have become blind to the world of the unseen. It has always been and will be the case that what remains invisible to the eye will have the most profound effect upon the simple matter of existence. The unseen has always had a command upon human destiny. Upon that principle Catholic faith is built, and from the Upper Room where the disciples had re-gathered after Jesus’ resurrection, we are blessed in our belief: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (John 20: 29b). …READ MORE

April 15
Patty Pizzitola
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – Corpus Christi Parish – Houston TX

Becoming Bread – Part 2
Taken out, exposed and cold on the counter, you are being kneaded.

The air pounded out of you, you are turned inside out.  Rolled over in waves.  Everything made visible on the counter. …READ MORE

April 11
Patrick Riley
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – St Paschal Baylon Church – Highland Hts OH

Mary, Our Mother, and Consolation In this Time of Peril

On the Friday before Palm Sunday, Pope Francis focused his homily on the Sorrowful Mother, an ancient feast traditionally celebrated on that day. He listed the seven sorrows of Mary, the last four of which concern Mary’s participation in the passion and death of her beloved son. One can only imagine how her heart was pierced by pain as she met Jesus on his path to Calvary. Already bloodied and weakened by his scourging, he makes his way, burdened by the cross, crowds jeering at him. In this chaos their eyes meet.  But it was not yet finished. She later stood at the foot of the cross with a few women and John amidst a crowd who chided, ridiculed and laughed at Jesus. While nailed to the cross Jesus spoke only to his Father, the good thief and lastly to his mother. He gave John to his mother and then entrusted his mother to John. Her heart is wounded again as the body of the man whom she once cradled as an infant in her arms in Bethlehem is now bloodied and broken and, in the image so powerfully depicted in the Pieta, laid across her lap. Then she, accompanied by John and the women who grieved with her,  laid Jesus’ body to rest. …READ MORE

April 8
Patty Pizzitola
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – Corpus Christi Parish – Houston TX

Becoming Bread
I woke up this morning to the news that Hobby Lobby has succumbed to pressure and made the decision last night to close their doors and furlough their employees.  I visited Hobby Lobby yesterday to purchase Easter/Spring décor and a bandana to cover my mouth and nose.  I spent more time in the bandana department selecting just the right one, soft and a lovely shade of yellow.  Now I’m sorry I didn’t buy several to match my wardrobe!   Seriously, when is the madness going to end?  Will there be enough toilet paper in 3 weeks?  The makers of Angel Soft assure us that they are alive and well producing roll after roll of that much needed commodity. …READ MORE

April 1
Ethel Lapitan
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament

Self-Surrender

Those ancient wise ones speak of giving all;
Of surrendering your own being to the mighty God above.
In our age of self-absorption, how can we believe in self-denial?
And yet, through the centuries, the Lord repeats His determined call.
He asks us to worship, He demands that we believe, He invites us to love.
So we must face the truth, kneel before His majesty, release ourselves to His trial.
We are made in his image; He has loved us from the first.
He delights in us as Chosen, He glories in His creation.
Birdsong and infant, blossom and youth, flowing water and priest,
each came forth from His marvelous Word, all are given His Eucharist.
From each culture, language, country, we are made into His nation.
Thus we must be humble, give Him our gift: surrender self and be the least.
05/07/2009

An Easter Thought

Creamy white, symbol of the Purest One,
Easter lilies trumpet the Hallelujah news
Throughout the earth:
He is Risen!
He is Risen!
He is Risen!
04/17/2009

April 1
Ivonne Hernandez
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – Holiday FL

What does it mean to be a Eucharistic person when I don’t have access to the Eucharist?

My tears have been my bread day and night, as they ask me every day, ‘Where is your God?’ (Ps 42:4). So much of my devotion has depended on and benefited from the frequent reception of Holy Communion and attendance at daily Mass that the experience of “fasting” from them has been very disorienting. It is almost as if a magnetic field confused my inner compass as my soul searched for his Presence in our midst. I know God is everywhere; I know he dwells in me, yet… What does it mean to be a Eucharistic person when I don’t have access to the Eucharist? This has been the question in my heart. …READ MORE

April 1
Joe McCormack
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – St Paschal Baylon Church – Highland Hts OH

When it began, everyone can tell you. The dark cloud that was on the horizon got everyone’s attention because it never seemed to move.  People who could, got into small airplanes and flew as high as the pilot permitted to see the horizon and the dark cloud. A few weeks later that nimbostratus cloud covered the sun and spread out its dark layer from one end of the country to another, then hung just above everyone’s head. Why, you felt you could just reach up and touch. …READ MORE

Coronavirus, the Cup and Cancellations by Fr. John Christman
Some eucharistic challenges and graces of the present moment

Replies to our invitation to share a thought or a reflection on the article by Fr. John Christman, SSS, “Coronavirus, the Cup, and Cancellations” from members of our Eymardian Family in the Province of St. Ann.

March 27
Mary Muehle
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – St Paschal Baylon Church – Highland Hts OH

Giving up chocolate would have been so much easier!
Never in my wildest imagination would I have ever thought I would give up Mass for Lent.  And yet, that is in reality on what has happened.  If we reflect on Lenten practices—whatever we choose—we are reminded that what is given up should be replaced by something good or better or that enhances our faith and commitment.  How can that be possible if participating in the Eucharist is what has been given up?  …READ MORE

March 27
Patrick Riley
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – St Paschal Baylon Church – Highland Hts OH

The presence of Jesus in all the mobile monstrances
Fr. Christman, SSS, wrote his reflection Coronavirus, the Cup, and Cancellations on March 19. It was clear that we are living in very fluid times. I am writing this reflection a week later and much has changed again. Over half the US population is now under mandatory lockdown.  On March 18, there were 7,000 diagnosed cases of coronavirus in the US, with 141 deaths,  Today the United States surpassed China in the number of diagnosed cases with 87,400 and 1,170 deaths.  We are told that the peak of the virus is yet 3 or 4 weeks in the future and hospitals across the country bewail the fact that they will not have sufficient beds, ventilators or enough masks, gowns, gloves and other protective gear for doctors and nurses.  …READ MORE

March 20
Mary Muehle
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – St Paschal Baylon Church – Highland Hts OH

The article is terrific.  Very thought provoking and comprehensive. So glad to read it.  Perhaps doing an article on being a mystic might be very helpful.  It is a scary word for many folks and deemed out of reach for us commoners! Some insights or just listing a few practices or examples of how we can settle into God’s presence might be helpful.  Perhaps something on how to turn loneliness into solitude and the impact that can have.

March 21
Michele Wales
Associate of the Blessed Sacrament – St Stephen Catholic Community – Winter Springs FL

I want to thank you for sharing the article by Father Christman, and appreciate your efforts to find ways to build deeper connections among the Associates community.  We have a strong Associates community here at St. Stephen Church in Winter Springs, FL, but it is important to feel connected to our larger community of associates as well.  …READ MORE

Aids/Resources

A Prayer for Our Earth

All powerful God,
you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of  those who took only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
Laudato Si’ 246

Pope Francis’ Global Prayer for 24 May 2020 at noon local time

Message for the Eymardian Family from Superior General Fr. Eugenio

Letter from Superior General Fr. Eugenio: Invitation from Pope Francis to participate in a worldwide event: Celebrate Laudato Si’ Week -16-24 May.

PRAYERS

Prayer to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

Blessed are you, Mary
exalted Daughter of Sion!
You are highly favored and
full of grace,
for the Spirit of God
descended upon you.

We magnify the Lord
and rejoice with you
for the gift
of the Word made flesh,
bread of life and cup of joy.

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament,
our model of prayer in the Cenacle,
pray for us
that we become
what we receive,
the body of Christ your son.

Amen.

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Pope’s Prayer for Protection from Coronavirus

An English-language translation:

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain, with steadfast faith.
You, Patroness of the Americas, know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.

Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Adapted for use in America.  Prayer originated from: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-03/pope-francis-prayer-our-lady-protection-coronavirus.html

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My Jesus,
I believe that You are present in the
Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.
I love You above all things, and I desire
to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.

Attributed to Saint Alphonsus Liguori

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From American Magazine:

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well.

Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” Come to our aid now, that we may experience your healing love.

Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.

Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.

Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.

Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.

Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.

Jesus Christ, heal us.

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Sunshine on my Shoulder by Jim Brown
Seeing all of reality in the light of the Eucharist….seeing this reality in the light of the Eucharist

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Homily delivered on March 15, 2020 by Fr. George Dunne, SSS, at St. Stephen Church in Winter Springs, FL. Fr. George is the director of the Associates of the Blessed Sacrament at SSC:
[Click on bar below for audio clip]

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Note to Associates from Fr Anthony Schueller-March 22, 2020

Note to Associates from Jim Brown-March 19, 2020

Daily Eucharistic Reflections – Reflections written on the daily scripture readings by SSS religious and lay persons, delivered every day to your inbox (produced through the office of the Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing).
Check here for sample
To receive in your email daily, click here to contact Director, Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing

Rule of Life for Associates – online

Province of Saints Peter and Paul, Great Britain and Ireland
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament – Eucharistic Video Gallery

Emmanuel Magazine Subscription Offer for Associates

Comments

Nice job on the website and message of hope, rebirth and Easter resurrection. I pray for my SPB family, and my own. Remain strong. This difficult time will pass. Missing you, and Happy Easter.
Dale and Majken Casanatta  – Associate at St Paschal Baylon – Highland Hts OH