Depth, Not Novelty, Is Sought in Year of Eucharist

Pope’s New Apostolic Letter Lists 2 Objectives

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2004 ( John Paul II doesn’t want the Year of the Eucharist to be full of novel events.

Rather, he prefers that the “Eucharistic dimension be accentuated” in the pastoral programs of local Churches.

The Pope explains this in his new apostolic letter “Mane Nobiscum Domine” (Stay with Us, Lord), published today, for the Eucharistic Year that begins Oct. 17. That date will mark the close of the International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Year of the Eucharist, which will end in October 2005 with the Synod of Bishops of the World on the Eucharist, seeks to recover the meaning of the Eucharist at a time when the world experiences “dark shadows of violence and blood which do not cease to sadden us,” the Holy Father writes.

John Paul II invites the Church to return to the Eucharist and to “celebrate it decorously,” and especially to take it to daily life, according to Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, who spoke at a press conference to present the apostolic letter.

At the end of the document, John Paul II says that he hopes two objectives will be achieved during the Year: to value Sunday Mass and to intensify Eucharistic adoration.

“If the fruit of this Year is only to revive in all Christian communities the celebration of Sunday Mass and to increase Eucharistic adoration outside of Mass, this Year of grace will have achieved a significant result,” the Pope writes.

The Pontiff also hopes that the apostolic letter will help all the faithful to rediscover “the gift of the Eucharist as light and strength for your daily life in the world, in the exercise of the respective professions and in contact with the most diverse situations.”

In particular, John Paul II suggests rediscovering the Eucharist “to live fully the beauty and mission of the family.”

“For my part, with this letter I wish to offer some basic guidelines,” states the Holy Father, who signed the document on Thursday.

The apostolic letter “Mane Nobiscum Domine” may be read in the Documents section of the Italian edition of ZENIT’s Web page. Within days, ZENIT expects to post an English translation.

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