Eucharist and Reconciliation

Learning Adoration of the Eucharist in the Jesus Caritas Fraternity

On June 29l 1974, Don Stoker, a priest from the diocese of Liverpool, introduced the Jesus Caritas Fraternity of Priests to Ireland. I am glad that it was an English priest who brought it to the Irish.

In the home of the Little Sisters at Labre Park, Don told a few of us how the Fraternity had helped him be faithful to prolonged daily adoration of the Father ever since his ordination in 1960. He spoke of adoration in a new way which he had learnt from the example of Blessed Charles.

Adoration meant:

- Being with Jesus our Brother in his adoration of the Father.

- Being led with Jesus into the Father's saving love for every human person.

Don left us no literature about it. His own story was the magnet that drew us in. In Don's person we experienced a radiance of the Eucharist - a special presence of God. He was seeking to live for God alone, like Blessed Charles who said:

"As soon as I believed that there was a God, I understood that I could not do otherwise than to live only for him: my religious vocation dates from the same hour as my faith. God is so great.  There is such a difference between God and all that is not Him ".

Don's daily fidelity to the prolonged adoration both attracted and overawed me. On the car journey home from Labre Park I asked Peter Lemass "What are you going to do"? "I am going to try" he said. In a spirit of emulation I responded "If you try, I try".   And so Jesus Caritas took root in Ireland as the miracle in Don's life began to happen in ours.

Adoration became our way into the mystery of the Holy Trinity and into the lives of our brothers and sisters. In the midst of the violent ethnic conflict of the 1970s in Northern Ireland, we learnt in prolonged adoration, particularly during the Months of Nazareth, that the walls of separation do not reach to heaven.

Adoration empowers us to be ministers of reconciliation. In adoration we learn the love of the Father and hear in a new way the challenging words of Jesus:

"You, therefore, must set no bounds to your love, just as your heavenly Father sets none to his". (Matthew 5.48)