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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

March 19, 2020

Spiritual Fasting from Holy Communion

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois offers a unique perspective for those who are unable to participate in the celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. 

Share his video reflection with your students. The quotation Bishop Paprocki references from Pope Benedict XVI is taken from his book Behold the Pierced One. There are several reflections taken from this book online.

St. John Paul II's encyclical Ecclesia De Eucharistia  (The Church from the Eucharist) discusses the centrality and importance of the Eucharist. You may have the students read the entire encyclical and report on references to "spiritual communion" and what is meant by spiritual communion.


  • Have the students research prayers of saints who have made a spiritual communion and record one that is their favorite. Here is a prayer of spiritual communion of St. Alphonsus Ligouri 

Jesus, I believe that You are present in the blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire You in my soul. Since I cannot now receive Your sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As.though You were already there, I embrace You and unite myself wholly to You; permit not that I should never be separated from You. Amen.

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