Chicago Priest Addresses Participants at Eucharistic Conference

Father John Cusick Speaks on the Importance of Eucharistic Symbols

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By Junno Arocho

DUBLIN, Ireland, JUNE 13, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The theme of the fourth day of the 50thInternational Eucharistic Congress is Priesthood and Ministry in the Service of Community. Various speakers today focused on different aspects of the priestly ministry, diaconate and consecrated life. But a local Chicago priest delivered a unique address regarding the specific origins and meaning of the Eucharistic liturgy.

Speaking to a packed hall, Father John Cusick delivered his address with the theme Catholics, Why We Do What We Do. Father Cusick has been involved with young adult ministries in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The purpose of his workshop was to reacquaint Catholics with the meaning behind the words, gestures and symbols used in the liturgy in the hopes of inspiring a deeper appreciation for the Eucharist.

Father Cusick spoke with ZENIT on the importance of the Eucharist and what it means for Catholics in today’s society.

ZENIT: Why is it important for Catholics to know the origins of the Eucharistic symbols?

Fr. Cusick: Well, if you know where you’re from and why you do what you do, it’s like that old saying “With Knowledge, comes power.” But if you have no knowledge, then you’ll spend your time asking “What am I doing here?”

ZENIT: So by having this knowledge, people will value the Eucharist more?

Fr. Cusick: Absolutely. Once you understand why we do what we do, it heightens the value. It also strengthens the service, the sacredness of the liturgy.

ZENIT: What is significant about this International Eucharistic Congress for you personally?

Fr. Cusick: How can you say anything, it’s an international religion. Before I began today, I was talking to a man today from Beirut, another man from Qatar, people from around the world. We come together with one faith and you don’t get that. Its not American catholic church, its a Universal Catholic Church and I am humbled by that.

ZENIT: There are many fellow Americans here present at the Congress. What do you hope they receive from this and take back to the Church in the United States, in light of the current political divisions?

Fr. Cusick: Well I would like for them to find out what we’re really all about. I think so often we fight over peripheral issues. We are pretty much a politically divided Church today and I don’t think that is going to change.

But at the same time, we are a people of faith and I think this about the core values of the Church. I need that perspective every once in a while before I go back into the fight, and that’s important to me. I think whether you’re from Korea or Qatar or from Ireland, wherever you are from, this is what we all need to hear.

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For more information on Fr. Cusick’s minisitry, see www.yamchicago.org

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