In June of 2022, the Archdiocese of Detroit launched a project in conjunction with the National Eucharistic Revival that aimed to foster in the faithful a deeper sense of devotion to Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist by inviting those in Detroit and beyond to share personal stories of how the Eucharist has impacted their lives in a real and powerful way.
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, in his pastoral letter on mission and evangelization, “Unleash the Gospel,” highlights the indispensable role of personal testimony in evangelization. “Testimony has a unique power to touch hearts since it is almost impossible to ignore the witness of someone who has encountered Jesus personally and whose life has been transformed by Him. The townspeople of the Samaritan woman at the well came to faith in Jesus because of her testimony, which eventually led them to encounter Him themselves (Jn 4:39, 42).”
The project, “I AM HERE,” contains hundreds of personal stories of how the Eucharist has transformed people across the country, including dozens of Catholics who live and worship in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Throughout the next several months as the Church continues to prepare for the National Eucharistic Congress, which will be held June 17-21, 2024, in Indianapolis, Today’s Catholic will feature the stories of local men and women who have submitted their powerful testimonies to “I AM HERE.” To read more, or to submit your own story of how the Eucharist has shaped your life, visit iamhere.org. To learn more about the upcoming National Eucharistic Congress, or to purchase discounted tickets, visit diocesefwsb.org/congress.
‘My Life Has Radically Changed’
By Jared Horban
Corpus Christi Community, South Bend
While I was attending Ball State University in 2020, I was encouraged by FOCUS missionaries to begin going to daily Mass. Since then, my life has radically changed. I have physically, mentally, and spiritually been transformed into becoming more like Christ each day. How awesome! From the Eucharist, I have been able to see the relationship that God desires to have with each and every one of us – one that is intimate, as we literally consume Him! God also desires for us to be transformed internally. The road to self-mastery is impossible without Christ in the Eucharist. Christ’s readiness for us to receive Him, in His complete gift of self, makes me desire to become more and more like Him every day!
I have experienced the healing and transformative power of the Eucharist through my relationships, in freedom from past struggles and sins, and in an unending desire for closeness with God. Little did I know before heading out on this journey of daily Mass that my vision and focus were so clouded. I constantly measured myself by those around me, but I didn’t look at the summit of creation, Jesus Himself! Since going to Mass daily, I have been confronted with my own brokenness and poverty; this is something I had never truly contemplated. I felt like the Eucharist was given to me to get through life rather than to be truly impacted by it. I certainly never thought I would ever get over my past failures as a teammate, son, and friend. Through the Eucharist, I have come to know a love and peace that gives me the strength and desire to express its power to others. The Eucharist has altered my focus and direction in life. It has shown me the need for community and the need for relationships with God and other people.
I love going to Mass and receiving holy Communion because I know the power of Christ’s love. Christ gave Himself to us on the cross so that I may now have my truest and only identity – as a son of God! Jesus took on our sins, suffered, and rose from the dead for my sake and for all those around me. Christ altered the human condition in His resurrection, giving me a chance to be called God’s son. Christ not only gave of Himself on that day but continues to give, each day, if possible, a chance to become more like Him – someone capable of sacrifice, someone capable of love in its truest form.
Each Mass when the Eucharist is consecrated, I bow my head and pray, “Christ, allow me to be able to give a complete gift of self as You did on the cross.” I also love going to Mass to be able to see other people taking part in this great sacrament!
While I am at adoration and praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I often think about how radically different and mysterious our faith truly is. Adoration is one of those spaces in which I love to experience Christ’s love. While at adoration, I take on the image of being before Christ at one of His many teachings expressed in the Bible, sitting before Him, and experiencing His words and His love, and truly being able to experience the truth He is expressing. Being in the Real Presence of Christ in that way expresses the closeness that God desires to have with us.
‘I Am Not the Same Person I Was 16 Years Ago’
By Steve Till
Most Precious Blood Church, Fort Wayne
My life has completely changed since I came to realize the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I was away from the Church for 40 years when the Holy Spirit revealed to me the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and I had to return to the faith I was born into. Today, I am not the same person I was 16 years ago.
I have developed a real friendship with Jesus Christ, and adoration allows me to communicate with Jesus on a personal level.
‘A Feeling of Goosebumps Went Through Me’
By Tim Martin
Queen of Peace Church, Mishawaka
I love going to Mass because Jesus continually offers Himself to us, giving us opportunities to adore Him and spend quality time with Him. I’ve dubbed adoration as an encounter with the Infinite. It is an exchange of love between His pure love for me and my tiny, imperfect love for Him.
I am a minister of the sick and an extraordinary minister of holy Communion at Mass. Twelve years ago, I was out of work, allowing me time during the week to bring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to the homebound. I had been bringing Our Lord to an elderly parishioner for a few months. She lived a couple of blocks from Queen of Peace Parish in Mishawaka. I was a block from church with Jesus in my pyx when I heard a voice over my shoulder say, “This will be the last time you will bring Me to her.” I was startled upon hearing these words, leaving me wide-eyed.
When I got there, I met our parishioner, who seemed no different than before. She received Jesus with reverence. After finishing the Eucharistic ritual for the homebound, I felt as if I was seeing her as she would look in heaven. I normally brought Jesus to her two days a week, so she said, “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow.” A feeling of goosebumps went through me, and I did not know what to say in reply. Because of what I’d been told en route to her house, what could I say? After stammering a bit, I kindly said, “I’ll see you tomorrow, take good care.”
After leaving her house, I did some errands, not returning home until 1 p.m. I saw a light on the phone indicating a message; It was from the daughter of the parishioner I’d brought Jesus to. She said, “Don’t bother to bring Jesus tomorrow, as Mom passed away an hour ago.” I was overwhelmed! It’s amazing how Jesus uses us sinners to be His arms and legs to bring His Real Presence to His people!
‘He Fills Me with an Unexplainable Peace’
By Deborah Hillman
Our Lady of Good Hope Church, Fort Wayne
Like everyone else, I know what it’s like to feel sad, lonely, frustrated, and unappreciated. This crazy world can surely pull me down. But I’m learning that the best defense is a heavenly offense, and that starts with attending daily Mass.
What began as a soft, gentle pull has grown into a stronger tug to go to Mass daily, and if I don’t make it, I get the feeling that something is missing. Although it happens ever so slowly, I am able to look back and see how the Lord has changed my heart and made me stronger when dealing with the world around me. I find myself unable to say no to whatever He’s calling me to do. When the God of the universe offers to share all of His time, all of His attention, all of His care, all of His love in a very personal way with me, why would I ever refuse?
I give my time and love to Jesus, and He gives His time and love back to me. That fills me with an unexplainable peace that helps me to love others.
‘It Unites Me to Jesus in the Most Intimate Way’
By Chris Wroe
St. Charles Borromeo Church, Fort Wayne
The Eucharist feeds my soul, bringing the peace and joy of Christ into my heart. It is Jesus’ body and blood, uniting me to Him in the most intimate way. His love is seen in each Eucharistic host, reminding us of His sacrifice for us, dying upon a cross.
I was a helper on pilgrimages to Lourdes and witnessed amazing transformations through the Eucharist. Miracles happen. My mother was dying, so she received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and holy Communion. After the priest left, she woke up and was very much alive! If we doubt the power of the Eucharist, we are doubting the power of Jesus.
I love Mass because it takes me to the Last Supper and reminds me of how much Jesus loves me (and all of us). The readings remind me of how His presence was foretold and how God never deceives us. The presence of other people during Mass reminds me that we are one Church, the bride of Christ and God’s children. The presence of others in the Mass also reminds me of the good people who have died – some martyrs for the Faith and others who did what they could to share their faith throughout their lives. In the Eucharist., we come together as one Church to be the one Body that is Christ within our world. He lives through us.
Missing Mass leaves me empty and less prepared to face whatever challenges may come my way. Jesus wants us to know Him as friend and Savior. It begins with prayer – a conversation – and taking holy Communion, allowing Him into our very beings.
Adoration is my private time with Jesus and when I am most at peace in His presence. I set my attention upon Him. In my heart, I listen to whatever thoughts He gives to me. I try to empty my thoughts of what is going on in my life, but sometimes I need to bring these to His attention. He is my best friend, so sometimes I want to listen, and sometimes I need to speak.
‘I Can See the Difference of Life with the Eucharist’
By Jackie Moody
St. Monica Church, Mishawaka
I spent three years away from the sacraments because I was not in a state of grace. I continued to attend Mass and was involved at my parish during that time, but I did not present myself for Communion. I can’t explain the ache I felt and how much I missed that time with Jesus. Strangely, I felt the healing and transformative power of the Eucharist when I was away from it.
Praise God, and through His mercy, I am on the other side and once again in full communion with the Catholic Church. As dark as that time away from the sacraments was for me, I am truly grateful for it. In hindsight, I can see the difference of life with the Eucharist and without. There is so much joy and strength when you have the knowledge that Jesus is with you during all of life’s ups and downs. I will never take for granted that most wonderful gift that Jesus gave to us for the first time at His Last Supper, and I will celebrate it in awe at every Mass for the rest of my life.
The best news. Delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe to our mailing list today.