My encounter with Jesus is one of grace and mercy. Jesus loves us so much and wants us to desire a relationship with him. When we can get to a place in our lives that everything that we do is for him, just as everything that he does is for us, you just can’t ignore that kind of love. And when we understand how much love, grace and mercy he has bestowed upon our own very soul, you desire to share that with others. Because God can love a sinner like me, I can share and show others love.
Alexandra Ghent, coordinator of Faith Formation, Holy Mother and Child Parish, Corinth

At the wedding feast in Cana, the servants were worried they wouldn’t have enough wine. Mary’s words to them — “Do whatever He tells you.” When Jesus sat with His disciples before His Passion began He said, “Take this and eat, this is My body. Do this in remembrance of Me.” As daily food nourishes the human body, the Eucharist nourishes the soul. Mary and Jesus give us specific directives to live by, there is no misunderstanding their words. Everything I am and everything I hope to become is found in the Eucharist. The Real Presence of Jesus strengthens my soul to help whomever I can.  
Dianne Galarneau, director of Religious Education, Parishes of St. John the Evangelist & St. Anthony, Schenectady

I feel that bringing the Eucharist to the homebound is the time I feel not only connected and nourished by Christ, but (when I am) truly carrying out my mission. During these encounters, I feel the presence of Christ in our shared prayers and, in many situations, the communicant enters a place of peace and you can feel that they encounter the Lord.  In these situations, I feel a joy as I leave and I myself am walking on a cloud and looking forward to my next visit.  
Deacon Bob Sweeney, St. Michael the Archangel, Troy


When I reflect on what Eucharist means to me, I immediately think of a quote from the book “Markings” by Dag Hammarskjold: “Lord God, make me your bread and pass me around.” The Eucharist is transformative and without that experience of sharing and breaking bread together, we are less than whole.  When I visit the elderly and share the Eucharist with them, the time with them is “communion” in every sense. Isn’t that our call — to be part of the transforming experience of Eucharist for each other? It certainly is. Amen.
Sister Mary Jo Tallman, CSJ, Parish Life Director, Blessed Sacrament, Mohawk

My encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist is an all-consuming intimate experience that touches every part of my being, strengthens my relationship with Jesus and gives me the path to connect the love that is in my core. Receiving the Eucharist helps me to get out of the way and allow Jesus to use my God-given gifts in the way they were meant to be used. The Eucharist helps me to acknowledge my faults and not let them cloud or take over the love that resides in me. When I do get in the way, it allows me to forgive myself and experience how loved I am. This encounter calls me to use the eyes of my heart to recognize Jesus in all around me, it calls me to help others to recognize the divine in themselves and to explore and grow closer to the love that is Jesus within them.
Mary Nicholson, coordinator of Faith Formation and Youth Ministry, St. Clare’s Church, Colonie

As a new priest, I’m still learning all the aspects of what it means to “minister” to the communities I serve. Ultimately, the most important aspect of ministry as a priest is the celebration of Mass each day and encountering Jesus in the Eucharist. One of my favorite moments during Mass is elevating the Body and Blood of Christ and saying “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Not only are these words deeply profound and meaningful, but that is the time when I’m able to see Jesus and the community all together from the perspective at the altar. Jesus in the middle, and all of us gathered around Him, ready to receive God’s gift of his Son.
Father Matthew Duclos, parochial vicar,Blessed Sacrament Church, Bolton Landing, St. Isaac Jogues Parish, Chestertown and Hague and St. James Church, North Creek