by Marc and Julie Anderson
TOPEKA — Twin towers of strength.
That’s what Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann called the rosary and the Eucharist during the third archdiocesan Global Living Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration event held here at Christ the King Parish Oct. 24. The event drew almost 1,000 area Catholics.
At the event, the archbishop called attendees to reflect upon the lives of two promoters of the Eucharist and the rosary, Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II.
“Mother Teresa had a tremendous devotion to the Eucharist. Every day, she herself spent at least an hour in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in addition to receiving the Eucharist at Mass,” the archbishop said. “She told them (the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order she founded) they couldn’t possibly go out and do the work of bringing Jesus to the poor, the forgotten, the abandoned on the streets of Calcutta and all the other places the Missionaries of Charity serve, if they were not themselves filled with this living bread.”
Mother Teresa also prayed the rosary, he said, sometimes several times a day, and encouraged the Missionaries of Charity to do the same as “they needed the strength that the intercession of the Blessed Mother alone can provide.”
Like Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II had a love for the rosary and the Eucharist.
“He, too, saw the rosary and the Eucharist as these twin towers of strength,” the archbishop said. He then recounted a Corpus Christi procession in Rome that he was privileged to witness in 1998.
“When [the procession] got to the outside altar that was prepared at [the Basilica of] St. Mary Major, the monstrance was placed upon the altar,” the archbishop said.
Despite the fact that the Holy Father was struggling to walk by then, when he arrived at the altar he “immediately dropped to his knees in adoration.”
“You could see the pain it cost him to do that,” added the archbishop, “but so aware was he of Christ’s presence.”
In conclusion, the archbishop encouraged all the gathered to renew their love for Jesus and Mary.
“It is my great hope that during this coming year there will be a renewal of eucharistic adoration throughout our archdiocese and — for some a beginning; for others, perhaps, a renewal — of praying the daily rosary as individuals, and even more beautifully, as families,” the archbishop concluded.
The Topeka event was the third of a series of parish-based Holy Hours designed to prepare Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph for the large-scale rosary rally to be held on Corpus Christi Sunday, May 25, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Assisting the archbishop at the rally were master of ceremonies Father John Riley, Christ the King pastor Father Pete O’Sullivan, and Father Jim Kelleher, director of mission development for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity of Albuquerque, N.M.