Organizing Eucharistic congress/Eucharistic living-day more frequently is really a desire of the provincial council and also of the recent General chapter. Through these activities, our charism and SSS mission will be introduced widely in order to bring Jesus in the Eucharist into human hearts so that the Reign of Christ may come and God’s glory be revealed to the world.
It might be said that this desire partly came true on the Eucharistic living-day held on 17 November 2018, a special day with many significance: 159th anniversary of the foundation of SSS Aggregation (1859 - 17/11 – 2018) and the feast of the Vietnamese Martyrs (30th anniversary of canonization 1988-2018), Patron of Province of Vietnamese Martyrs. This day was not only an opportunity that the children of Saint Peter Julian Eymard gathered together from different parts of the Vietnamese territory to celebrate the above said meanings, but also considered as a Eucharistic congress in which all members of four branches had an opportunity to deepen their understanding about the Eucharist, building up their sense of belongingness to the Charismatic Eymardian Family, strengthening their bond by sharing life with one another, and expressed filial love with their Founder. It could be seen as a concretization of the final message of the 35th General Chapter:
“The Eymardian Family comprises the four expressions already indicated regarding St Peter Julian Eymard’s charism. Each of these has received the grace of the Eucharistic calling and hence they all have the same mission.”
Then the Chapter exhorts us to do some practical things to develop the members’ bond. “The Chapter considers that: 1) We have to go forward in developing a specific plan of formation for lay people. 2) We have to programme times of formation that involve the four branches of the Eymardian Family.”
The beginning of this particular occasion was dedicated to Eucharistic adoration. In fact, the Eucharistic Lord is a true bond through which all members of the Charismatic Eymardian Family bound together. After a period of Eucharistic adoration, the liturgical community spent time to honor their Founder.
Then two presentations of talk followed. One from Fr. Dominic Tam sss, who presented the theme “Martyrdom in daily life” through which the children of Eymardian had an opportunity to call to mind the Vietnamese ancestors who courageously offered their life to be testimonies for the Lord. The members of Eymardian family are invited to follow their footsteps in their daily life. From Fr. Joseph Ai sss’ presentation, the attendants were shown a deepened understanding of the liturgy of the Mass. This talk practically brought a big help for Eymardian children by whom the liturgical understanding, specially the Mass, and Eucharistic theology, are highly appreciated. They are also invited to be aware of their mission and to translate it effectively through Eucharistic testimonies in their daily life.
All the activities of the day such as adoration, presentations and life sharing brought them into a culminating moment, which is the Eucharistic celebration. In his homily, Fr. Paul Quang, animator of the Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament highlighted the importance of testimony in life: “Actions speak louder than words”. Each member of Eymardian Family, depending on their state of life, needs to imitate the martyrdom of their ancestors by their willingness to be witnesses of the Eucharistic Lord till the end.
The Eucharistic table was prolonged by the fraternal table in which the members as usual shared a moment of joy, happiness, funny stories, recreation and concert.
We hope that this kind of fraternal meeting would not end as the festivities end, but it really brings members together to share life and to realize the SSS mission. We also hope that such Eucharistic day will be celebrated frequently in different levels so that we will be able to lit the Eucharistic fire in the four corners of Vietnam.
Fr. Martin Phuc, sss