Video on the Eucharist and Christ’s sacrifice goes viral

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Dominican Father Patrick Hyde, pastor of St. Paul Catholic Center in Bloomington, Ind., speaks about the Eucharist on March 16, 2023, during a Eucharistic evening of reflection at Holy Family Church in New Albany, Ind. As a national Eucharistic preacher commissioned in 2022 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Father Hyde has spoken about the Eucharist across the country and in many parishes in the Indianapolis Archdiocese. (OSV News photo/Sean Gallagher, The Criterion)

INDIANAPOLIS (OSV News) — Father Jonathan Meyer and Dominican Father Patrick Hyde have experienced great joy in speaking to people across the country about the Eucharist.

Nearly two years ago, the two priests who serve in the Indianapolis Archdiocese were selected by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as two of more than 50 national Eucharistic preachers in support of the three-year National Eucharistic Revival.

Unexpected reach

Recently, Father Meyer, who helps lead the four parishes in Dearborn County, has seen the impact of his preaching on the Eucharist reach around the world.

He gave a presentation Jan. 27 at a Catholic men’s conference in the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida, on how the Eucharist is the re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice of himself on Calvary.

A video of that presentation posted on YouTube in two months has received more than 600,000 views. That has led to many invitations for him to speak at conferences and for requests for copies of devotional texts on the Eucharist he has written.

“I actually received a communication from people in Dubai,” Father Meyer told The Criterion, the archdiocesan newspaper. “It’s what the internet does, right? It can do great things. It’s a great privilege to be a voice of peace and hope about the Eucharist. Praise God for that!”

All Saints Parish in Dearborn County, where he has ministered since 2014, has a robust presence online, posting more than 1,400 YouTube videos.

Still, Father Meyer was taken aback by the response to the video of his presentation in Florida, which was posted on an account unrelated to his parishes.

“It’s humbling,” he said. “This is how God works. He surprises us in beautiful ways.”

Impact of preaching on the Eucharist

The ministry of Father Meyer and Father Hyde as national Eucharistic preachers has mushroomed in other surprising ways.

At first in their ministry, the USCCB would refer requests for them to speak in various places. But as the cohort of national Eucharistic preachers became well-known, more requests for speaking engagements have come to them, often directly from dioceses, parishes and schools.

Father Hyde, pastor of St. Paul Catholic Center in Bloomington, has preached on the Eucharist as far east as the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, and as far west as the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska. He also has shared the good news of the Eucharist in parishes across central and southern Indiana.

“In a way, it’s falling in love all over again with our blessed Lord in the Blessed Sacrament,” said Father Hyde. “I’ve been able to speak about what God has done in my life, but also to point other people to what Jesus is doing for them and inviting them to by being present to them in the Eucharist.”

Reviving love for the Eucharist

While he has experienced much fulfillment as a national Eucharistic preacher, Father Hyde has also witnessed the hardship of people who have a love for the Eucharist.

“They have seen and experienced friends and family walk away and turn their backs on the Lord,” he said. “It’s very painful.”

Father Hyde believes, though, that the National Eucharistic Revival has the potential to help people reach out to those whose relationship to Christ in the Eucharist has faded.

“People have come to realize that we’ve taken the Eucharist for granted,” he said. “In order for us to be personally and communally the best that we can be, the Eucharist has to be the most important thing in our lives.”

For Father Meyer, being a national Eucharistic preacher is “a powerful experience and a humbling one.”

“I’m being asked to speak about the greatest thing that we have, which is Jesus himself,” he said. “This revival is about a person. It’s about us knowing Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I have the honor to go out and introduce people to know Jesus and to enter into a deeper relationship with him. It’s a tremendous honor and blessing to be able to do that.”

It’s also a challenge for him when he experiences in places across the country the reality behind the launching of the National Eucharistic Revival, that a large number of Catholics do not believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist.

“And those who do believe, even what they believe about Jesus being present in the Blessed Sacrament does not have much more depth than just the fact that he’s there,” Father Meyer said. “It’s been eye-opening, I’ll say that.”

That’s a reason why he has preached many times on the Mass as a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary and how Catholics can incorporate that into their daily life of faith.

“I’ve found people to be very responsive to that,” Father Meyer said. “There’s a place to take their own sufferings and sacrifices. And it’s the sacrifice of Jesus offered for us and re-presented on the altar.”

Excitement for the National Eucharistic Congress

Both priests are excited to take part in the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis July 17-21.

“Because of what I’ve seen in various dioceses, I’m really excited to see how this congress and the revival will translate to an ongoing Eucharistic revival in parishes and in people’s lives throughout the country,” said Father Hyde. “We think we know what’s going to happen here. But God’s probably going to move in a different direction and it’s going to cause so many things that we can’t foresee right now. That’s really the exciting piece.”

Father Meyer is helping to organize a Eucharistic procession scheduled to take place on July 20 on the streets of downtown Indianapolis that could involve thousands of congress attendees.

“I’m so honored,” he said. “I absolutely love that stuff.”

Father Hyde said that the congress, which is expected to draw to Indianapolis tens of thousands of Catholics from across the country, will dramatically highlight the importance of Christ’s gift of himself in the Eucharist to the life of the Church.

“When we put Jesus at the center, he’s going to call us to a radical new way of life,” Father Hyde said. “And we just don’t know what that means until we get there.”

OSV News

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