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Wednesday, 16 November 2022 08:44

Receiving the Eucharist for the first time – it can get quite the reaction

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eucharist first timeCatholics in our diocese who converted to the faith shared with Catholic Times what it was like receiving the Eucharist for the first time. Their responses will inspire you. 

“I remember thinking, ‘This is it! This is it! And, you’re home. No matter what happens now, the most important thing in your life is now open to you and the rest in God’s hands.’”

  • Father John Titus, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Mattoon and St. Columcille Parish in Sullivan

“The first time I went to Mass with my spouse who is Catholic, I didn’t know what to do with myself. My husband said to fold my arms and the priest would say some kind words giving me a bit of grace to carry on through the week. After I became Catholic, I thought, ‘Finally!’ I can fully participate in Mass. I was overwhelmed with the spirit of Christ and felt I had pleased Him with the direction I had chosen for my life. I was incorrect in thinking this was the end of my journey in coming to Christ. Each time I partake of the Eucharist, I know it draws me closer to God and gives me focus to continue His work in serving those in most need.”

  • Deegee Kienstra, St. Mary Parish in Edwardsville 

“It was …  April 2019, at the Easter Vigil that I joined the Catholic faith and received the Eucharist for the first time. I was finally able to take part in what Christ requested, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ I became more and more aware throughout RCIA what it really meant to be part of such a union with other Catholics throughout the world. I was so excited and deeply aware of what it meant to take part in what was truly one bread and one body — Christ’s body. I was finally able to physically, mentally, and spiritually receive with each Communion a renewal, as well as a reminder the deep love Christ has for all who take part.” 

  • Rebecca McIntire, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Effingham

“Incredible. Receiving the Eucharist for the first time—knowing that I was truly receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ—those feelings and emotions are just impossible to describe. What I experienced that day is something that will stay with me forever.”

  • Gerald Broadwater, St. Elizabeth Parish in Granite City

“It was a very personal experience. At that time, I felt like the world was at peace, and I truly felt united with Christ. Being baptized and receiving the Eucharist on the same day was an overwhelming experience filled with love, joy, and happiness for me. “

  • Makenzie Miles, St. Francis Solanus Parish in Quincy

“It was a point of letting my guard down and accepting that I didn’t have it all figured out and that God and I were going to get to know each other better.” 

  • Nathan Grider, St. Agnes Parish in Springfield     

“I was very nervous at the 2001 Easter Vigil when receiving the holy Sacraments as a convert, but I remember feeling peace come over me as I exclaimed what my pastor taught me to increase my faith in the holy Eucharist, ‘My Lord, and my God.’"

  • Alex Foster, St. Francis Xavier Parish in Jerseyville

“As a born southern Baptist, Christianity never made any sense to me. I could never figure out what the big deal was. After learning about the Eucharist, things slowly began to make more and more sense, and when I actually received the Eucharist for the first time, I had this feeling of clarity. I almost felt as if my brain had been rewired. I don’t know that it was miraculous but, in my mind, suddenly life and more importantly the Scriptures made sense.”

  • Calvin Bell, Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield   

“When I received the Eucharist for the first time, two things came to mind: First, was an overwhelming sense of peace. I felt closer to Christ than I ever had before. The other feeling or thought I had was that I was finally home. I had waited a long time to be a part of Christ's church and I was so grateful to now be His own. I prayed for the feeling to never subside. I remember the song they played, 'How Beautiful,’ and that I cried.”

  • Bret Ware, St. Elizabeth Parish in Granite City

“As I approached Father Joe (Ring) to receive my first Communion, I felt completely humbled and most reverent of the great sacrifices Jesus Christ made for me. After receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus, I was overwhelmed, emotionally and physically, with the love of the Holy Spirit. So, in total gratitude, I knelt down to pray that I would be a vessel for His light to shine through me.”

  • Pamma Kaufmann, Our Saviour Parish in Jacksonville 

“I entered the Catholic Church in a humbling manner. I never thought that I would have a conversion. I had been raised in the Baptist church and my entire family was of Protestant faith. I had taken communion throughout my life as a ‘symbolic gesture.’ As I attended the Catholic church with my future husband, many times I would be moved to tears. Watching the faithful partake in Communion, there was something special about this, something that I had never experienced. At the Easter Vigil when I received my first Communion it was a feeling of gratitude and renewal. I knew that Jesus was in the Eucharist. I am so appreciative of the Eucharist and what it means to my life, and I look forward to growing in my Catholic faith.”

  • Lynda Wrigley, Blessed Trinity Parish in Brussels  

“Coming from a Protestant background, receiving the holy Eucharist for the first time felt like stepping into a world I had never encountered before. I feel as though I have truly joined the marriage Supper of the Lamb and received the fullness of the faith.”

  • Joseph Smith, St. Francis Solanus Parish in Quincy