Eucharistic Congress to focus on meaning
Bp. Banks will preside at the closing liturgy at next month's event
By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor
What does the Eucharist mean and how do we celebrate it in today's world?
This question is the central focus of the Eucharistic Congress, Oct. 13-14 at St. Norbert College, De Pere. A special Eucharistic Liturgy will be held at 4 p.m. on Oct. 14 at Schuldes Sports Center with Bp. Robert Banks as the celebrant.
"For the most part, Catholics are in tune with the Eucharist in the holistic sense," said
Peter Ghiloni, assistant chaplain and director of liturgical music at the College of the
Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. "I am at a college campus where I am amazed by the
youth. We have 1,000 kids coming to Mass on Sunday and actively participating. There
is great enthusiasm and the Eucharist is a central part of their lives."
Ghiloni will discuss the Eucharist in three presentations at the Congress. His first
presentation examines the role of children in celebrating the Eucharist.
"Children need to be a part of the community not simply an object of affection," he said.
"Children themselves are faith-filled worshippers. We can all learn from them."
Ghiloni will present Eucharist: Our Call to Justice on both days. This presentation will
demonstrate ways to expand ministry beyond the Mass and into our daily lives.
In his final presentation, Ghiloni, who once served as director of the Prayer and Worship
Office in Milwaukee for 10 years, will discuss how we celebrate the church year.
"It's important that we don't see it as strictly a historical celebration," he said. "We can't
make believe that Jesus is born again or that Jesus died on the cross one more time. We
need to celebrate how these events, here and now, play a role in our lives."
"I like to rile people up and encourage some good discussions," he added. "In many
ways, this Eucharistic Congress will serve as an affirmation of who we are. I hope people
come away feeling good about what they are doing."
Dr. Maureen Sullivan, a Dominican Sister of Hope from New York, also will make three
featured presentations at the Eucharistic Congress. The William H. Sandlier Publishing
Company, where she serves as a religion consultant, is sponsoring her lectures. Dr.
Sullivan currently teaches theology at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire.
"I hope to connect genuine conversion with sacramental life," said Dr. Sullivan in
reference to her presentation, Conversion: Living in the Kingdom of God. "We need to
have a conscious awareness of the significance of the sacraments otherwise it is a sterile
Dr. Sullivan takes a unique look at educators in her presentation, Catholic School
Teachers: History Makers for the 21st Century.
"I compare teachers to history makers," she explained. "They have a great deal in
common as far as their contributions to others. It's designed to help teachers understand
the importance of their work."
Rediscovering the role of the Holy Spirit is the focus of Dr. Sullivan's third presentation,
Spirituality for the New Millennium.
Dr. Michael Corso, coordinator for supervised ministry and continuing education at
Boston College's Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry, will perform at
the Eucharistic Congress. He tells the story of Mark's gospel in his one-person show. Dr.
Corso, who is also a catechtical leader at St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill, Mass.,
developed his play as a senior at Boston College more than 15 years ago. His
performance is designed to educate and inspire others.
"You can learn more if you hear the gospel all at once," he said. "It can also demonstrate
that forms of entertainment can be valuable teaching tools. If you teach about
compassion, you must be compassionate. Approach teaching as an art."
Bishops Banks and Robert Morneau will also be featured presenters at the Eucharistic
Congress. Bp. Banks will present The Eucharist, Source and Summit on both days. Bp.
Morneau will present Eucharist as a Source of Stewardship on Oct. 14.
New among the more than 250 sectionals offered at the Eucharistic Congress are nine
"We started out with hopes for one or two and it grew from there," said Rudy Pineda,
diocesan consultant for Hispanic Pastoral Ministry.
Pineda will present The Liturgical Year and the Sacraments, on Oct. 14.
"I will look at the significance of the colors for the sacraments and help with
preparation," he said. "The (Hispanic) sectionals are in Spanish, but I welcome all people
who are bilingual to attend and to help us grow spiritually.
Topics covered in the Hispanic sectionals include sharing faith with children, vocations,
music and choir, the need for leadership, sharing the best of Hispanic traditions, living in
Green Bay as a Mexican and preserving the Hispanic identity.
Approximately 700 Spanish applications for the Eucharistic Congress were attached to
bulletins at churches offering Spanish Masses.
"Hispanics are spiritually hungry," said Pineda. "We are challenging workshops in other areas to offer a Spanish track, and I am overjoyed by the many great Mexican Independence Day celebrations held throughout the diocese. It helps bring ethnic groups together and enlivens and brings faith to our parishes."
For more information or to register for the Eucharistic Congress, call the diocesan department of Total Catholic Education at (877)500-3580, ext. 3, or (920)437-7531, ext. 3, or e-mail: [email protected]. The registration deadline for Oct. 13 events is Sept. 22. Register by Sept. 25 for participation in Saturday, Oct. 14, events.