Reflection of the Eucharist by Fr. Bill Foley

  • Jun 22, 2017

Dear Parish Family:

My devotion to the Eucharist was kindled years ago when the sound of a little bell signaled the beginning of a mysterious and attractive event. A priest emerged from the sidelines and conducted prayers in a language I did not understand; yet, the congregation was caught up in silent awe at the mystery that was unfolding. My journey of faith began at what is now the social hall at the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda; but my formation began in earnest when at age five I began attending Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington. Now, almost sixty years later, I am about to become pastor of that illustrious parish. My dream as a child at Blessed Sacrament School was “to do what the priest does” at the altar. That dream has been realized now for the past thirty eight years as a priest in seven parishes. I have celebrated Mass in various countries, on mountain-tops, and in homes. My attraction to the Eucharist was nurtured by frequent “visits to the Blessed Sacrament.” These moments with the Lord became even more precious during the challenging years of my adolescence which coincided with the tumultuous days of the late 1960’s. Since my ordination, this “vertical” sense of the Eucharist has been balanced by a more “horizontal” understanding. When I say the words “Body of Christ” to a parishioner whose story I know, my prayer for that person takes on new meaning. As I gaze from the altar at the assembled multitude, I appreciate the more dynamic meaning of these words that express our very identity. I write these words in preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and as a way of introducing myself to a community that is both new and old to me!

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Bill Foley