Friday 24th January 2020

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

What Are You Doing To Make The Presence Real?

August 22, 2019 Frontpage No Comments


The Catholic bishops are shocked — just shocked! — that only 1 in 4 of the faithful believe in the Real Presence. What is more astonishing is that their bewilderment actually seems genuine…which is horrifying to the rest of us insofar as we have been warning about this problem for the better part of five decades.
Let us start with what is most obvious. Much like our public education system, Catholic parents writ large have sloughed off their responsibilities to DREs and youth ministers. What is a DRE, you ask?
In all honestly, I have no clue. Supposedly they are to direct the religious education of young Catholics, but how often do they have them? What are they doing with them other than babysitting? More shockingly, how much are they being paid? What degrees do they hold? Theology from some second or third tier institution that surrendered its Catholic identity during the 1970s?
I’m sure there are excellent programs somewhere in America with DREs paid $80K a year with great curricula and parents who use this program to reinforce what is being taught at home, rather than reinforcing what these religious education programs are doing.
Most are failing our youth. Or worse, they present the veneer of an active parish while producing 1 in 4 young Catholics who survive the experience still believing in Christ.

A Modest Proposal

So what is to be done?
Allow me to offer a modest proposal:
First: Fire all our DREs and youth ministers and beg parents to do their job. All of them, every single one of them, without exception or remorse. The problem isn’t that they are horrible people — most are quite good and heartfelt. But all we have done is build an apparatus that steals away the role and responsibility of parents and grandparents as the “first teachers” of their faith.
Second: Bring back Friday Adoration. Quick quiz: When was the last time your teenage sons and daughters (or grandchildren) were invited to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament?
When I was a young man, this was the centerpiece of my week. About 50 or so of my fellow students would cram into a chapel (or into St. Mary in Fredericksburg) as our priest performed a Holy Hour at 8 p.m. That is what kicked off the evening and the weekend. Afterward, we would go out and grab coffee, watch movies, play games or do whatever it was teenagers and college students do on a Friday night. But it worked. . . .
Third: Teach these students to pray the rosary or read Scripture in front of the Blessed Sacrament. One of the most difficult things to learn in the spiritual maturation of any Catholic is how to be silent before God. Learning this is what the holy rosary is all about. We preoccupy our senses and focus on the divine. The same is true for reading Holy Scripture or other religious texts with Jesus. It works because it works.
Fourth: Start treating one another as tabernacles. Ever see someone yell at the Blessed Sacrament? Me neither. Have you ever seen someone tell a tabernacle to go to Hell? Gossip about the tabernacle? Say terrible things about the Catholic Church in front of a tabernacle? Me neither…and yet we do this every day.
How many of us are guilty of coming out on a Sunday, marching over to the parish hall, cramming our maws full of doughnuts and coffee while preoccupying ourselves with the same things we brought in our hearts just 90 minutes earlier? Politics, gossip, scandals in the Church…who cares?
We just ate the Body and drank the Blood of God. We all became living tabernacles.
No small wonder the Devil hates us so much, hates Mary for her fiat before Gabriel, hates that Jesus Christ suffered death on the cross and liberated mankind from the very same. How could we treat one another the same?
What sort of example do we set for our young ones when we — by our very actions! — do not recognize the Real Presence in our thoughts, deeds, and example?
Fifth: Bring back Wednesday Bible studies. One of the great privileges I had as a young man? I came into the Church late…my mother was not terribly invested in us growing up as Catholics, so my brothers and I attended RCIA classes together while we were in college, surrounded by folks who wanted to be Catholic.
One of the advantages of this is that we really did learn in tremendous depth what our faith really meant. Red meat, not milk. We were already scavenging everything Catholic that we could find, but to be offered some mediation as our appreciation for tradition developed? That mattered in a real and tangible way.
Now the Protestants sit around and hold their Bible Study every Wednesday night. In Virginia, this is so ubiquitous that telemarketers intentionally do not call on Wednesdays, knowing that many among their target demographic are in the basement reviewing some portion of the Old Testament.
Could you imagine what that would look like in a parish hall where a priest decided to really do a deep dive on the Immaculate Conception and the meaning of the term kecharitomene when Gabriel called Mary “full of grace” — a vocational shift reserved for when Christ renamed Simon to Peter and Saul to Paul?
Sixth: Start joining groups like the Knights of Columbus. Or the Legion of Mary. Or start your own bourbon and cigars group of 12 angry Catholic men who will all put $100/mo into the pot and decide what to do with it — donate to a soup kitchen, take the kids hiking, give a scholarship to someone who wants to do a trade, ask the parish priest what emergency there is.
Want to start treating one another as if we really were tabernacles? Here you go…
One of the most powerful things I have ever read about the Real Presence was written by Fr. John Hardon, SJ, regarding what the Holy Eucharist really was and how it would end abortion in America. The Holy Eucharist isn’t just a wafer. Rather, the Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ in human form who received His Flesh and Blood from His Mother Mary.
All graces flow from this, and if we are ever to end this homicidal age in which we live, it will be through the Holy Eucharist and a recognition of the Real Presence — not just on the altar but in each of us as Catholics.
In short, we must live this truth. One in four is not enough, and so long as we refuse to take up the light yoke of Christ by recognizing that “This Is My Body!” has a profound claim on the Catholic soul, we will instead be forced to endure the heavy yoke of a homicidal age where “This is my body!” becomes the rallying cry for 61 million abortions and countless other horrors.

+ + +

For those continuing to follow, my friend is currently in a treatment facility in West Virginia and doing well. His quirky sense of humor is back, as he was joking a bit about how folks were dealing in rocks…not crack, but “healing crystals” and so forth.
Naturally, he passed on that offer.
Ironically, this introduction of the spiritual is an interesting way of reminding him (and others) that treatment for alcoholism isn’t a materialist exercise. We’re not just machines made of meat, but ensouled persons.
That folks are willing to reach for rocks to answer that need? Reminds me of an observation Ludwig Wittgenstein once made about how a counterfeit admits the existence of the real thing.
St. Louis de Montfort and Venerable Matt Talbot, pray for us!

+ + +

First Teachers encourages readers to submit their thoughts, views, opinions, and insights to the author directly, either via e-mail or by mail. Please send any correspondence to Shaun Kenney c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, VA 23084 or by e-mail to

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

22,000 people showed up in Virginia to protest an infringement on their Constitutional rights

No buildings vandalized

No journalists attacked

No cops were harassed

Some in the media call these patriots domestic terrorists

Yet they refuse to say the same about ANTIFA


His Eminence, @cardinalrlburke will be marching for life with the @GuadalupeShrine group in #WashingtonDC this week, giving public witness to the inviolable right to life! #MarchForLife #CatholicTwitter 👶🏼👶🏻👶🏽👶🏾👶🏿🤰🏻🤰🏼🤰🏽🤰🏾🤰🏿

Load More...

Catholic parish will not host Episcopalian consecration

Richmond, Va., Jan 17, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia will no longer hold a bishops’s consecration at a Catholic parish in Williamsburg, after an internet petition objecting to the event drew national attention. “It…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan conducting ‘Vos estis’ investigation into Brooklyn’s Bishop DiMarzio

New York City, N.Y., Jan 18, 2020 / 09:05 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan is conducting an investigation into Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, following an allegation of sexual abuse. The investigation is being conducted under the provisions of Vos estis lux…Continue Reading

Theodore McCarrick has moved from Kansas friary

Denver, Colo., Jan 7, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- The disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick has moved from the Kansas friary where he had been living since 2018. A spokesman for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Conrad told CNA…Continue Reading

Vatican Archbishop: those who say Judas is in hell are ‘heretics’ and priests may ‘accompany’ assisted suicides

ROME, December 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a statement difficult to reconcile with Scripture and Tradition, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has claimed on behalf of the Catholic Church that anyone who says Judas Iscariot is in…Continue Reading

Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone resigns after year of scandal

Vatican City, Dec 4, 2019 / 04:01 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Wednesday accepted the resignation of Buffalo’s embattled Bishop Richard Malone. The Diocese of Buffalo will be administered by Albany’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger until a permanent replacement for Malone is…Continue Reading

Chinese bishop says Catholics must put ‘love for homeland’ first

Beijing, China, Dec 3, 2019 / 04:30 pm (CNA).- A Chinese bishop has said that Catholics in the country must put their loyalty to the state before the faith. Bishop John Fang Xingyao made the statement during a Communist Party…Continue Reading

Canada’s largest newspaper: Catholic schools must back LGBT ‘rights’ or risk losing public funding

TORONTO, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s largest newspaper threatened Catholic schools in an editorial that unless they get in line with homosexuality and transgender “rights,” support will only grow for an end to their public funding. The Toronto Star’s…Continue Reading

Pope compares politicians who persecute gays, Jews to Hitler

Pope Francis denounced the persecution of gay people on Friday and compared public officials who stoke hatred and anti-gay sentiment to Hitler. Francis delivered his remarks at an international conference on criminal law at the Vatican City, Reuters reported. “It is…Continue Reading

7-year-old whose mom tried to ‘transition’ him chooses to attend school as a boy

DALLAS, Texas, November 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven-year-old James Younger, whose mother enrolled him in kindergarten as a “girl,” has finally been able to attend school as a boy for the first time. James’ parents’ fight over whether he should…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan on Biden communion denial: ‘I wouldn’t do it’

Washington D.C., Oct 31, 2019 / 04:58 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has responded to questions about the denial of Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden last Sunday. On an Oct. 31…Continue Reading

Judge blocks Alabama law banning abortions, pro-lifers plan to appeal to Supreme Court

October 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Alabama’s ban on virtually all abortions will not take effect on November 15 as planned, thanks to a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. In May, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Alabama…Continue Reading

Biden denied communion at South Carolina church over abortion stance, report says

Democratic front-runner Joe Biden was reportedly denied communion by a priest at a South Carolina Catholic church over the weekend. Biden, a lifelong Catholic, stopped by Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence on Sunday, but was denied Holy Communion by Father Robert E. Morey,…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

President Trump Will Attend March for Life in Person, First President Ever to Join Pro-Lifers


President Donald Trump will address the March for Life on Friday in live remarks to hundreds of thousands of pro-life people attending the event from across the country. He will be the first president ever to attend the March for Life in person, having addressed the March via video previously. March for Life officials told they were delighted President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to pro-life values by appearing in person –joining half a…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland says he asked pope about McCarrick report

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, said he asked Pope Francis about the Vatican investigation into Theodore E. McCarrick and the release of a promised report on how the former cardinal managed to rise through the church ranks. The bishop, who was making his “ad limina” visit to Rome, drew widespread attention in August 2018 for a public statement saying he found “credible” the allegations made by retired Archbis

Catholic League blasts bill on clergy abuse, accuses lawmaker of trying to ‘police the sacraments of the Catholic Church’

SALT LAKE CITY — A group dedicated to defending the Catholic Church and its traditions is blasting a lawmaker for a bill that essentially removes the clergy exemption for reporting disclosures of abuse. “You are treading on dangerous territory,” Bill Donahue, the group’s president, wrote in a letter obtained by FOX 13. “When the government seeks to police the sacraments of the Catholic Church — or encroach on the tenets of a


Benedict XVI .: I am not co-author of Sarah’s book

Vatican City, January 14, 2020 (CAP) Benedict XVI has distanced itself from the authorship of the book on priesthood and celibacy, which Cardinal Robert Sarah published. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, private secretary of Benedict XVI, told the Catholic news agency Kathpress in Rome on Tuesday that, at the request of the pope emeritus, Sarah called early Tuesday morning to ask the publisher to remove Benedict XVI’s name and picture. prompt from the book cover. The signature…Continue Reading


The Facts… About The Controversial New Book By Both Cardinal Sarah And Benedict XVI

  By FR. JOHN T. ZUHLSDORF (Editor’s Note: Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf posted the following on his January 15 blog at It is reprinted here with permission. Please visit his blog for the links he mentions in his text.) + + + Edward Pentin has posted at the National Catholic Register [blog dated January…Continue Reading

An NFL Owner’s Final Victory

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of Creators Syndicate,, distributes his column.) + + + Fr. Bill McGuire was sitting in the upper level of the press box at Kezar Stadium watching his hometown team play the Chicago Bears. Things were not going well. The 49ers fumbled…Continue Reading

Seth Meyers Likes Neo-Nazi Tactics

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented on remarks made January 13 by Seth Meyers on his NBC show.) + + + Brooklyn has been hit with a wave of anti-Semitic attacks, and no one uses this as a pretext to make light of them. A Catholic church in Brooklyn was…Continue Reading

Bishop Sheen Comes To My Home Town

By DONALD DeMARCO The 1960s counterculture movement did much to undo many traditional social values, especially those regarding personal relationships and human community. It served as a kind of stage rehearsal for the 1970s, which Tom Wolfe aptly dubbed “The Me Decade.” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, launched the decade which gave…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Learning The Little-Known Life Story Of Bishop Schneider

By JAMES BARESEL Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and Diane Montagna, Angelico Press, 2019. Available at It would be all too easy for a reviewer of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age to limit himself to predictable reflections…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Focus On The Light

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 8:23-9:3 1 Cor. 1:10-13, 17 Matt. 4:12-23 In the first reading today, Isaiah tells us that “God first degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,” but then tells us everything is turned around for the people in these lands and that “the people who…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell Transferred To New Maximum-Security Prison

MELBOURNE, Australia (CNA) — George Cardinal Pell has reportedly been transferred out of the Melbourne prison in which he has been incarcerated for more than a year after a drone illegally flew over the prison grounds. According to the Herald Sun newspaper, Pell was moved out of Melbourne Assessment Prison after a drone flew over the prison garden in an…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In an effort to promote eucharistic adoration, we published the following article in our parish bulletin. Feel free to use it in your own parish. Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. These familiar words from a Christmas carol remind us of our obligation to offer adoration to the Lord. To be sure, we are also to…Continue Reading

God Wants Us To Be Great Saints

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 49:5-6 1 Cor. 1:1-3 John 1:29-34 In the Gospel reading today we have two statements by St. John the Baptist regarding the identity of Jesus. First, he states that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Second, he testifies that…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Parents Are The First And Best Teachers

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The option to home-school is the overwhelming trend among our traditional Catholic families. Why? They want to have larger families if able, usually more than the social minimum of two or three, out of a deep adherence to the faith and its integral practice. Tuition at Catholic schools is increasingly prohibitive under the budgetary strain…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Maria Cristina Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful.” This could certainly describe the setbacks of so many saints before they finally achieved their heart’s desire. St. Maria Cristina certainly had her share of disappointments and setbacks, but she always began again. Nunc coepi. On May 1,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Henry De Osso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Over the centuries, Spain has yielded many saints for the Roman Catholic Church. At the beginning of the fourth century, St. Maginus was martyred. In the twelfth century, there was St. Raymond of Penafort. In addition, the great sixteenth-century Carmelites, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, made matchless contributions to spirituality. In the…Continue Reading