On Saturday, December 2, Glenmary Home Missioners is hosting an Advent retreat day open to all, in person or via livestream.
The retreat, “The Eucharist and Missionary Discipleship,” will take place at St. Michael the Archangel parish in Erwin, Tennessee, from 10:30 am to 5 pm.
The day will be led by Yohan Garcia, who serves as the Catholic Social Teaching Education Manager at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Yohan will share his story and how the Eucharist impels each of us to be missionary disciples.
“Yohan Garcia is one of a generation of national, young lay leaders that God is raising up right now, many of whom are bilingual Hispanics like Yohan,” says Polly Duncan Collum, Glenmary’s Director of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. “Yohan has a profound love for Jesus and the Church, and he is on fire for the Church’s social mission. He has a brilliant mind, a humble, prayerful spirit, and an amazing personal story of faith.”
Polly says she knew she wanted to collaborate with Yohan on the event after reading an article he wrote for the National Eucharistic Revival blog.
In the article, “This Is My Body”: A Reflection on My Migrant Journey and the Eucharist, Yohan details his decision to emigrate from his hometown of Puebla, Mexico, at the age of 16 in search of a better life. Jesus and the Eucharist remained a source of strength for him as he journeyed hundreds of miles and, at one moment, found his life threatened at gunpoint.
“While these experiences of our human journey make us vulnerable,” Yohan writes, “Christ lifts our vulnerability through his sacrifice on the Cross. At the Eucharist, our burdens and preoccupations are transformed into feelings of hope and gratitude.”
Yohan’s first talk at the retreat will center on his migrant journey and the unifying power of the Eucharist. The talk will be given in both English and Spanish. After the first talk, the group will break for lunch.
Following lunch, the retreat will split into English and Spanish speaking sessions. Yohan will give his second talk, “The Eucharist Prepares Us for Mission,” in Spanish while English speakers can participate in adoration, Reconciliation, a rosary walk, outdoor Stations of the Cross or fellowship. Then, the Spanish speaking group will have those same opportunities while Yohan gives the second talk in English.
“My hope is that participants can experience the Eucharist as a community,” says Yohan. “When they go to Mass, that they will see the Liturgy of the Word differently and relate the parts of the Mass to their personal lives.”
The retreat will end with the celebration of the Eucharist–the Saturday Vigil Mass.
Eucharistic Revival and Glenmary
The retreat is being held as part of Glenmary’s celebration of the National Eucharistic Revival movement.
The mission of Glenmary goes hand in hand with the mission of the National Eucharistic Revival.
Father William Howard Bishop, a Baltimore parish priest and founder of Glenmary, said in 1917: ‘“One who has found a vast treasure which was meant for the whole human race to enjoy will not be excused for failing to try to bring his fellow-men to a knowledge of it. We have found such a treasure for we have drunk of the Water of Life, we have eaten of the Bread of Angels. We have Christ with us every day. Should we hesitate to show the world where he is to be found?”
The mission of bringing the Eucharist to the peripheries is not limited to those who work professionally in Catholic social teaching and social justice, such as Yohan and Polly. “All of us as children of God are called to be missionary disciples,” says Yohan.
The retreat on “The Eucharist and Missionary Discipleship” is free and open to all. Both talks will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person. Please visit glenmary.org/revival to RSVP for lunch, view livestream information and learn more about the Eucharistic Revival in the Glenmary mission areas.