by Marc and Julie Anderson
TOPEKA – Bethlehem.
In Hebrew, the name translates to “house of bread.”
Marcia Bahret, a member of Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in north Topeka, said somehow the translation seems appropriate, since Jesus is “the living bread come down from heaven” and that he was placed in a manger, or a feeding trough, for livestock.
Additionally, she hopes people will reflect on those ideas during a daylong free event on Dec. 3, when Father Mitch Pacwa, SJ, best known as a host on EWTN television and radio, speaks about the Eucharist.
The event will start with a rosary at 8:30 a.m., followed by Mass at 9 a.m. in the church. After Mass, Father Pacwa will give a series of talks drawing upon the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as the Old and New Testaments.
Sponsored by the parish and Knights of Columbus Council 534, the day will conclude at 3 p.m. Participants who register prior to Nov. 18 will have the opportunity to purchase lunch. Additionally, books and religious articles will be available for sale, and a freewill offering will be taken up. Those who sign up for the event are encouraged to bring a Bible.
Planning for the event began more than a year ago when Linda and Ray King, friends of Father Pacwa and the in-laws of Bahret’s daughter Marisa, visited Kansas, staying with Bahret and her family.
After Mass that weekend, Bahret and Linda King, Father Pacwa’s event manager, approached the parish’s pastor Father Tom Aduri about inviting Father Pacwa.
Bahret said she’s hopeful everyone who attends, regardless of their knowledge of the church’s teaching, will grow in their love and understanding of the Eucharist from the experience.
“Inasmuch as people are fearful or uncertain about their path, if they can turn to Jesus in the Eucharist, they will find the peace and purpose and serenity they’re seeking,” she said.
Father Pacwa agreed, adding that since around 1968 there has been an emphasis on the Eucharist as “some sort of event for the community to get together and share,” but that’s “only one part of our eucharistic teaching.”
“I want people to see something much more than that,” he said.
Father Pacwa plans to look at “the two elements of eucharistic teaching that are most neglected — namely, the Real Presence and the sacrificial nature of the Mass” — and hopefully instill or rekindle in those who attend his talks “a sense of the wonder of the Eucharist.”
For more information or to register, visit the parish’s website at: mtcctopeka.org/news/539-special-event.