The Catholic Association
Ep. 264 DC's Eucharistic Procession & Biden's Latest Title IX Moves
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Episode Description

With President Biden’s latest moves to push gender ideology further onto college campuses and universities across the nation, Mary Hasson of the Ethics and Public Policy Center joins us to discuss how it hurts students – especially females.

As we get closer to the 2024 National Eucharistic Congress, Father Charles Trullols shares his excitement for the upcoming second annual Eucharistic procession in our nation’s capital. Hundreds of Catholics will participate in the procession through the streets of Washington DC, concluding with a gathering for prayer and mass to intercede on behalf of our country.

Father Roger Landry also brings us an inspiring homily to prepare our hearts for this Sunday’s Gospel.

Bios

Mary Hasson, JD is an attorney and Kate O’Beirne Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC. Mary is a three-time keynote speaker for the Holy See at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and serves as a consultant to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family, Life and Youth. She is co-founder and director of the Person and Identity Project, author of several books, and a prominent speaker on issues of women, education, and gender ideology. Her writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, National Review and many other publications. Mary has seven children and five grandchildren.

Father Charles Trullols is the Director of the Catholic Information Center of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, Assistant Chaplain at Oakcrest School in Virginia, and Spiritual Director of the Leonine Forum, which promotes Catholic social teaching among future leaders in Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles. He speaks four languages and holds degrees in Architecture and Theology, as well as a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

Father Roger Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. He writes for numerous publications, speaks on radio and TV, and is the author of the book, Plan of Life: Habits to Help You Grow Closer to God. He is a graduate of Harvard and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and was Attaché to the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the UN in New York. Father Landry is set to embark on the full 1500-mile Eucharist Pilgrimage this summer to commemorate his 25th anniversary as a priest.

The following transcript is machine generated.

Episode 264 Transcript

GrazieHello friends, and welcome to Conversations with Consequences. And we are the radio show and podcast of the Catholic Association where we aim to change the culture one conversation at a time. You can listen to conversations with consequences on the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network. We are also on Sirius XM Channel one third. Of course, our radio show is always a podcast.
Go to the Catholic Association, Dawgs podcasts, or directly to wherever you listen to your podcast. Joining me now on Conversations with Consequences is an old friend of the shows, one of my favorite favorite guests. For her wisdom and her her wonderful peaceful delivery of things that are very hard to contemplate. But she makes them palatable somehow. And her name is Mary Hasson.
She's of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and I have asked her on to talk about Joe President Joe Biden's recent title nine rewrite. And that sounds very administrative, but Mary is going to help us pass through that in a way that makes sense. So welcome, Mary.
Mary HassonThank you so much, Gracie. Always wonderful to talk with you.
Grazieit's such a pleasure for us. And so, so Title nine has been rewritten in part by by the administer current administration. So if you could walk us through what is Title nine and why is it important and what has been rewritten about it.
Mary HassonSure. And it's important to clarify this kind of at the outset. Title nine is actually a statute, and it's a statute that prohibits sex discrimination in education. And so the federal government and is tasked with releasing regulations about, well, how they're going to implement that, how they're going to monitor that, how they're going to guide educational institutions. So Title nine has a specific statement in there that it's prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex.
GrazieAnd Mary, what? yeah, I was going to ask you, how did that apply when what was a thought and what that apply when it was first written?
Mary HassonYeah. Important question. At the time, nobody questioned what the meaning of sex was. Everyone understood that it meant equalizing the opportunities for males and females, and in particular it was designed to redress some real inequities where women didn't have sports teams or they didn't have as many scholarships or they didn't have a certain educational opportunity. So it's designed to open doors, really, and to protect women, to give them opportunities.
And so it was a good thing. And it it really has a huge impact because even on the level of sports, which is only one piece of what Title nine is governing because it governs all aspects of education. But but just the impact that had you had this explosion of girls who started to play sports, which has tremendous ramifications for health, for leadership, for all sorts of things, as well as just the joy of competition.
So a Title nine was really very important in the history of women in the U.S. being able to achieve their educational goals.
GrazieSo maybe let me give let me give you an example and tell me if it would apply to something like this. So maybe there is a debate team and there's girls and boys on the team in a high school, but the girls can go on there invited on the trip. But there wouldn't there wouldn't be any accommodation for the girls because there's no single sex space for just the girls, for instance.
The school has to make it so that girls and boys can both participate in things like debate club and, well, anything, right. That that.
Mary HassonAnything. Yes, any sort.
GrazieOf level the playing field so that girls can also participate on a par with the boys whether that was sports or other activities at school.
Mary HassonRight. Because what you saw in the past research, the disparity where you would have, for example, a university might have a track team that's varsity level for the guys, but nothing for the girls. And so the girls might be able to run and create their own team, but have absolutely zero institutional support. And so this is designed to say, no, you know what?
If you're if you're affording the boys in your educational institution this opportunity, you also have to afford the girls an equal educational opportunity. Now, tell mine included, some very specific language so that respected the differences between the sexes, saying that it was not going to be considered discrimination on the basis of sex to have sex specific facilities for living, facilities like dorm rooms, bathrooms, locker rooms, as well as sex specific teams for for sports.
So that was a specific thing. The other thing that was specifically written in was the recognition that religious institute fans have a right to be faithful to the tenets of their religion. So Title nine was not going to impose upon them an obligation that would be if they were a religious institution controlled by a particular religion that was going to be in conflict with their faith based beliefs.
And those those aspects of Title nine are all still in existence. What's happened and where the rewrite has occurred is on the level of regulations. So the the Biden administration released this a thousand something page document of regulations governing the implementation of a timeline. It's so broad. It affects everything and not just sports, but every every aspect of schools from K through university level.
And it redefined sex to include, quote, gender identity, which is your self-perception regardless of your sex to include a kind of right, a sex based right or a right that to be discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy but including termination of pregnancy. So there's a real concern that it's going to open the door for Title nine complaints.
If a school is not, for example, funding or making provision for students or employees to access abortion and things like that. So so by simply redefining sex, which again was never defined in the original Title nine statute because you didn't have to, but now they redefined it to mean basically everything but sex difference between male and female and the.
GrazieRamifications, like it's like a sociological engineering exercise. It sounds like they're socially re-engineering everything in education.
Mary HassonExactly. And I think honestly, in Gracie, I think that's a lot of what's behind this, because even though in the regs, they specifically say that their motivation has nothing to do with ideology or imposing certain values, it's just implementing the clear language of one line. They have directly contradicted not just the intent of Title nine, but the specific language.
So it's double speak and in service of an ideological goal of validating the concept of self-defined identities that you can be whoever you feel yourself to be and everyone else in the whole world has to acknowledge that validated and pretend it's true and reorganize your whole institution in light of your subjective beliefs that doesn't match reality. It also is going to undercut parental rights, freedom of speech.
And there's there's a section of this that deals with sexual assault complaints. And so there's it's very problematic because they took away just basic kind of due process rights and really tipped the scale towards the accuser in a way that is going to result in huge injustices of anyone who's accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault. And they broadened the concept of sexual harassment.
It can include things like intentionally not using someone's preferred pronoun, etc.. So this is just a wide open, ideologically driven document that's designed to shape how people think, how they speak, how they relate to one another, and how how a university functions.
GrazieBut it sounds like it sounds like a bunch of bureaucrats, A bunch of clerks went into a back room and wrote a 1000 page document reengineering the way that children and young adults are educated and the way that they relate to their teachers and the administrators of this school. And the way I mean, you've mentioned you mentioned already 15 different ways, right, that the young people exist in education and also older people, of course, including teachers and administrators.
How is it possible that unaccountable bureaucrats can can write a thousand page directive that vitally changes foundational structure of education in America, that without any legislative input.
Mary HassonIt shouldn't happen? I mean, there's something called the Administrative Procedure Act, because there's always been a regulatory aspect of implementing statutes. And so Congress delegated authority to the executive branch, which means the agencies, whether it's Health and Human Services, Department of Education, State Department, whatever it is, you know, they delegated some power to them to write regulations, to implement statutes.
But the problem here is that the bureaucracy is wildly out of control. And there's really no check on this because there was an unfortunate Supreme Court decision a while back that gave undue deference to bureaucrats who rewrite, you know, who write the regulations saying, well, we're going to presume they've got it right, that they're implementing the statutes. Right.
So given this.
GrazieIs advice, is that power, is that Chevron?
Mary HassonYes, Yes, it's called Chevron Deference.
GrazieAnd it's the.
Mary HassonCase.
GrazieIs in that before the Supreme Court that that it.
Mary HassonIs yeah they had they heard arguments and it's I'm cautious silly optimistic that they're going to clip the wings of the administrative state and the power of bureaucrats to do exactly what they did here in Title nine. But of course, that ruling is going to if they indeed do that, that's not going to come out. That's going to come out after these regulations have been released.
So there are already numerous lawsuits that have been filed challenging what the administration has done with Title nine parents groups as well as states, because these regulations say even if you have a state law, for example, that would protect single sex sports, let's say, at the high school level or protect single space or single sex facilities, let's say restrooms in a grade school or something like that.
This the title nine regs say our air regulations dominate. You know, they override what you doing on the state level. So we're seeing the states push back and say, no, no, no, You know, we we get to pass laws that govern how we educate our children, how we secure their rights, because this is really amounting to taking away these ten line regs, really taking away rights from women, from girls, from parents, because, you know, one of the things we can talk more about it, but just this elevation of gender identity within the educational context is hugely problematic.
So we'll see. I my fear is this, that while I think eventually these lawsuits that have been filed will be successful in terms of throwing out these regs and or at least limiting their application, putting guardrails on them, saying, you can do this, you can't do that. But that's that's going to take months, maybe years of litigation. And in the meantime, you're going to have the very progressive universities, schools, certainly the public school system is all in in implementing this.
And it has a formative aspect. In other words, it's reconditioning teachers, children, families, employees, how to think about themselves and to disregard the reality of male female sex and to put everything in the subjective terms of, quote, gender identity.
GrazieIs this something that can be simply picked up, torn up and thrown out by a new administration, even if the next president is Republican, for instance?
Mary HassonIt's not that easy because you have to show that these regulations were, quote, arbitrary and capricious. In other words, they exceeded the authority of the administration to do what it has been empowered to do by Congress. And clearly, you can make that case here. But again, it takes time, it takes litigation, it takes or if you're in power and you put your own people in, they have to they have to follow a process to demonstrate why these regs that were issued under the Biden administration were arbitrary and capricious or were in violation of people's rights.
And why these new regulations that they might desire to implement are justified?
GrazieAnd what if the Supreme Court does uphold No, this the the reasonableness of of of limiting the administrative state and not handing all our power over to bureaucrats combined with a new administration? Could that would that work together to help us sort of clean up the stables?
Mary HassonYeah, Yeah, certainly. If the Supreme Court tosses this out and says this is plainly unconstitutional as it is, well then then it is kind of like ripping it up and you get to start over because and what will probably happen is the prior regs would then be sort of given effect. But it's just it's a time consuming process.
So again, I think will win in the end. But in the meantime, how many kids are going to be taught that who they are is determined by their self-perception of their gender identity? How many parents are going to be shut out of that conversation because the regs are written to say that students of any age have a right to assert this, quote, gender identity at school.
And the school has to validate that, affirm it, facilitate its expression, etc. And there's nothing in there about involving parents in the conversation or giving parents the right to opt out or or to veto a school's desire to transition their kid.
GrazieI've seen some amazing videos on the Internet of young people, even middle schoolers, young girls just walking off the pitch when they have to, when they're confronted by a boy or a man on the other side. Right. Pretending to be a girl like they don't even pretend anymore. They just come on, the guy's just come on dress normally.
They don't even grow their hair. And they're like, Yeah, they say, I'm a girl. And then they start competing. And I've seen some amazingly brave girls and young women just say, No. What's the use of me getting up in the morning at four to come practice right day after day after day, because I'm going to win that college scholarship and make my parents proud.
What's the use if I'm just going to be outclassed and outmatched by a boy or a man who says he's a woman, right?
Mary HassonYeah. And it's that's been encouraging. I'll tell you who's been a game changer is Riley Gains. Yeah. Having, you know, having a young woman like that who is was a successful athlete herself but is really persuasive and just a great model of femininity coming forward and saying, enough, this is not fair. And and articulating the objections I think has been tremendously encouraging to young girls and giving them that courage to say, I don't have to do this.
I don't have to be on a volleyball court facing off against this guy who's not my team.
GrazieAnd not my dad out with a.
Mary HassonVolleyball. Yeah, my disappointment is this that well, I think it's great for these young girls to stand up. I'm kind of disappointed in many parents who just kind of go along with it. Like they don't want to rock.
GrazieI'm very, very disappointed. Mary, I know a lot of really good hearted people who understand what's at stake and they can talk a good game, but as soon as their daughter is in on some team and a boy joins the team or he's on the other side, they immediately fold like they won't do anything. They don't want to rock the boat.
The people are really, really I don't want to say cowardly, but the and maybe they're not cowardly for themselves, but they're cowardly on behalf of their children because they they don't want to make their children targets, their daughters targets of of derision or or anger. But my gosh, like we either hang together or we hang separately.
Mary HassonRight, right, right. And I think, too, it's it's not a parent should be protective. And if it's hard for an adult to stand up and say, whoa, this is not fair or this is not right to allow this this male into my daughter's locker room, if a parent is unwilling to stand up and say that, then how can we expect young girls to stand up and to advocate for themselves or even to be to have a sense that, yeah, that's right.
I should have my privacy respected, I should have my opportunities. Respect. Another is a sense mixed signals to our girls. And then of course, you have the failure of administrators and coaches who, in the case of Riley Gaines, she and some of the swimmers from Penn, they talk about how their own coaches, when Lia Thomas joined the team, he was a male who was identifying as a woman and was using the locker room, beating the girls out in races and things.
And the girls complained to the coach and to the administration. The coach was not sympathetic at all. He's Lia Thomas, I think, is someone who was going to make them more likely to win, of course, because he's only human.
GrazieIf only he could stock the entire women's team with men. Imagine he would. He could just leapfrog straight to the Olympics. It would be.
Mary HassonWonderful. Actually, I saw I think it was on the professional level. There was some some team and I can't remember what sport was basketball or maybe it was volleyball. That was the other side fielded. And, you know, an entirely transgender male team. And the women did walk off. They just said, can't do it. We're not.
GrazieSo the woman's the it was a women's matters.
Mary HassonA women's competition, a competition.
GrazieWomen's competition. And then one of the teams was all male.
Mary HassonYeah. Yeah. And we're you know, when this all started, when you started seeing the rise of gender identity and people were concerned that you were going to have males identify with boys identifying as girls and taking spots and and winning championships and everything. People said, it's not going to happen. Or how many kids is that going to happen?
Which it'll be one or two here and there because people thought there's there's no boy who's going to want to do that. These are very rare situations. Well, now we're seeing it in I think it's been like 350 different championships have been or titles or winning competitions have been taken by boys from girls.
GrazieThere's there's there's a lack of shame and there's a lack of idea of family honor. And there's just all these individuals just doing whatever the heck they want to advance themselves, to make themselves feel special. And with what happened to shame, I would be so ashamed if my giant six and a half foot son was, you know, swimming against girls and beating them because he was too mediocre to swim with the boys.
Mary HassonRight.
GrazieI would hang my head an absolute shame. And that doesn't even count the fact that he's going around calling himself a woman, my own son. I mean, that is so shameful. Yeah.
Mary HassonSo what happened with you? I agree with you. And you would hope parents would say to their sons, Come on, have some self-respect. You are male. Get out there and compete with the males.
GrazieBut, Mary, what is it with parents we've seen in the last few weeks this the the absolutely heinous, disgusting, genocidal protests in favor of Hamas across college campuses. Each one of those students who are participating have parents who are footing the bill, who must know that their students are promoting the burning alive of babies. Right. Bye bye.
Mary HassonHow mysterious. Right.
GrazieThey know this about their kids. Where is the shame? Where are the hordes of parents showing up on campus and confronting their children and say, You get in the car right now, we're going home. Where are they now? I could never in my family the idea that one of my children would do something so shameful and disgusting and my husband and I would not show up to put a stop to that in about 30 seconds.
Flat out. Who are these parents?
Mary HassonI think there are parents who have kind of given over their parenting to to their children and and to quote experts. And so they are unwilling.
GrazieYou know, what, to the states, to the state and the and the educational ideas of the state, which frankly, that's what we're seeing on campus. We're seeing the result of the what's what education is creating.
Mary HassonAnd I think that's a really important insight, Gracie, because this is it's not like this has come out of nowhere. This is exactly the fruit of what has being taught, been taught on not just college campuses, but increasingly within the K through 12 public school system. It has been teaching kids an ideology that's built on hatred, that's built not on the truth, but on lies about who they are.
It fails to recognize human dignity in an absolute sense and.
GrazieStatus quo, and we're tied in to this Title nine rewrite because it's all it's all part and parcel of the same thing. And it's a social re-engineering around victim groups versus oppressors around a sexual exoticism. Right? That so nobody nobody can just be a regular normal person like a man or a woman who aiming, you know, one day to get married, to start a family.
And nobody can do that. Like, everyone has to be a sexual exotic. Everyone has to be either an oppressor or an oppressed. Right. It's all tied up together in a big Red Bowl. And what's our country going to look like in a I mean, we're watching it on campus and we're and it's all tied in with hate. I mean, this is this is a very these ideologies are hateful ideologies.
And violent and violent at their at their at their at their center, their foundation, because it violence against the the natural anthropology of the human being.
Mary HassonYeah. And you know what? I think it speaks to a kind of an emptiness in the hearts of so many young people. And you look at the stats on the decline of religion in this youngest generation, which again is a function of what we've done in education, when when you exile faith from from schools and education instead of integrating it, then it's no surprise that young people grow up, even if they have parents who are religious to some degree, they're growing up in a world to validate the idea that you don't need God or God doesn't exist or there are no objective truth.
And yet the human heart is built to search for meaning, to search for God, to seek truth. And so it's very easy when someone is empty like that in searching and doesn't doesn't know how to find the truth, to just swallow what's served up and to become basically kind of fanatical about it. And I think there's almost a religious zeal that we're seeing among those who have rejected religion, but have have adopted the woke beliefs or gender, ideology, beliefs, or here in this case, the social so-called social justice oppressor oppressed beliefs.
I think it's an attempt to fill a very real void.
GrazieYeah, there's and we can see the void exists because suicide rates in young people are through the roof. Yeah. They're anxiety and depression. I mean there's so much mental illness and and that mental illness takes all these different forms, right? The mental illness of not accepting your natural biologic body of right of, of rejecting your normal puberty, of the violence of well the violence of violence.
Right. Of these encampments and, and the stuff that we're seeing of glorifying violence itself. I mean, there's so much mental illness out there and it's all and I agree with you, it has a lot to do with the lack of meaning that has been imposed on our young people by the lack of religion. Right. The lack of tradition and and ways of seeing the world which you can can you can hand to your children and say, okay, here's a beautiful way of of understanding your presence here on Earth.
You know, it's all going to make sense to you if you can see it in this in the in the framework of this gorgeous story where you are an important thread and so am I.
Mary HassonYeah. That's, that's absolutely beautiful. That's, that's really right. And our kids need that. They need to hear the truth, They need to know who they are and at a very deep level. And right now unfortunately they're being conditioned to accept something else and, and so it's unclear what the results are going to be. This may be kind of a lost very, very troubled generation, which doesn't bode well for the country or the culture.
But even worse, for their own, their own humanity and their eternal salvation.
GrazieWell, at least what we can do, as in our listeners, is we can pray, right? We can pray, which makes a lot a lot of that makes a huge difference. We can pray for our country, for young people, for for this, for the stopping of all these ideologies and the way they're being written into education. In this case of Title nine that we've been talking about.
And also we can learn like from listening to you, Mary, understanding when really what really is going on so we can talk to our children, our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews, our neighbors, and and really, you know, try to present the world to them as it really is and in a way that can that can protect them from the craziness out there.
So thank you so much, Mary. Yeah.
Mary HassonThank you so much. It's always wonderful to speak with you.
GrazieJoining us next on Conversations with Consequences is an old friend of the show's father, Charles, to yours. He is the head of the CIC, the Catholic Information Center in Washington, DC, which has a very special place, both geographically and spiritually in our nation's capital. Welcome to the show, Father Charles.
Fr. Charles TrullolsThank you. That's so great to be with you today.
GrazieWonderful to talk to you. It was a year ago that my husband and I traveled to D.C. to take part in the first annual CAC Eucharistic procession. I think it is a very significant event that is going to be repeated again on Saturday, May 18th, in our nation's capital. And it has all sorts of giant implications. I think when our Lord is taking out taken out in procession in such an important place where so many decisions that affect the entire world are being made, I.
Fr. Charles TrullolsWas I was so happy last year to be able to start this new tradition in our nation's capital. This is our second, as you mentioned, you guys, the procession. And we are really expecting to have a lot of people from Washington, D.C., from the area, from around the country. I mean, there are many people who have expressed their intentions of coming into into Washington, D.C., just for this event.
That is going to be so beautiful. We are we are going to be processing for those who don't know where the CAC is, is on K Street and between 15 and 16, just two blocks away, three blocks away from the White House in a very important location. And there are so many amazing and important decisions made for our country in that area.
And and we are going to be a process scene to that scene. And I'm going by very historical relevant places, especially Lafayette Square. Right. And follow with the square. Mike Fisher on the square. So all these great landmarks that remind us of the important of the foundation of the prayer, of prayer, honoring our country. Right. As a as a as a nation in which we put everything under God.
So we will be processing with a blessed sacrament, with the Eucharist in this nation in this year and ending year of the national Eucharistic revival. And last year we had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people. And I think I want this year to double that number, you know, to show everyone our love for the Eucharist, our faith for the Eucharist in the in the real presence of Jesus, and to pray for so many needs and that personal and for our country that in these important times that our we are living in.
GrazieFather, I grew up in Mexico and everybody can tell, I think from your accent that you're from Spain. Yes. And in our in these countries of our infancy, we the procession, the Eucharistic procession of the priest or sometimes a procession of a statue of our lady on her feast day, these are very big moments and very popular moments in the in the in this the general in the general imagination.
Right. And like the general culture in the United States, processions are not I don't think there's practice there practice with such frequency. People sometimes don't understand exactly what a procession means. So let's talk about processions for a moment. What is a procession? What's the purpose of a Eucharistic procession?
Fr. Charles TrullolsSo let me let me see if I can expand with my own words. As you say, I grew up in Spain, and that's a big tradition in Europe. In general, procedures have been a big tradition in which Catholics gather and they walk together following in Jesus, we sing in in in among students milestones is this liturgical they celebrate in which the Eucharist is displayed for everyone to to see and for everyone to adore and to worship.
Because we believe that Jesus is sacramental. We are really present there with His body, with his soul, with his blood and his divinity. Right? And so we work together. And Jesus is leading the way with a priest holding the master as the Eucharist and everyone is behind is walking and singing. And then there are then we will have three stops or altars, I would say, in which they one starts, the Eucharist is going to be placed on them, and then the priest is going to be able to read the gospel and to preach for a few minutes and people will be able to kneel down and a door in the public square right in front
of the Blessed Sacrament. So it's a very powerful sign of faith. And this has, as you were saying, I wanted to bring these these are liturgical, I would say, event to the public square of Washington, D.C. And because this is where we are, right to our neighborhood, we stand downtown on May 18, Saturday, May 18. We also chose this day, Saturday morning, because it's a great day in which, you know, the streets are kind of open for us.
And the and they are closed for right. For the passing of Jesus. And that will be also we are emphasizing the aspect of being able to of all the children that this year are going to receive first communion. They will be processing or working in front of the Blessed Sacrament, being able to drop petals of flowers and, you know, so that Jesus walks are on.
You know, it's kind of a symbolic thing, right, that that in touch came kind of we are in the basement and and also reminding us of what they did with Jesus in his interest in Jerusalem, with everyone was placing the palms and other objects right in front of Jesus passing.
GraziePassing by Washington, DC is a place that's very used to different kinds of processions and protests and demonstrations and public public displays of people's opinions with very strong emotions. And how do you see this in relation to the other kinds of things that DC is so used to?
Fr. Charles TrullolsWell, I would say that our procession, a liturgical parade, it's called didn't call it this way. It's going to be very different for from the other ones. This one is going to be very bright, very peaceful and beautiful, right with and then there will be also liturgical elements that like incense and and bells. So people are going to be, you know, greatly surprised of of having of of of seen in this great amount of people passing by praying for our country that you're going to see that you know often right in the street.
And then the other thing I wanted to say is that and devoted to are blessed blessed Carlo Acutis, he was a teenager in the nineties and beginning of the ten year of the 21st century just a few years ago. And he is spread with his skills. He was you know, he he was a programmer and he was he was a great kid, you know, And he put together these website in which he wanted to spread the devotion to the Eucharist, and he put together all you guys take miracles approved by the church in in history.
Anyway, the point is that he used to say that he was sad when he saw all these amount of people in line to watch over, not to watch a soccer game right at the stadium or to go to a concert. And he didn't see that excitement or even amount of people at all going to see Jesus, our savior in the Blessed Sacrament.
So he wanted to change that. And I think that educated procession is going to change that. This coming Saturday, May 18th of this year, because we will see all these lines of people together as a unity in union with with Jesus Christ.
GrazieThere's a whole movement going on in the United States right now. The national and Eucharistic Revival and in all the parishes, the United States are taking part in it. And the idea is to to refocus our attention on Christ's presence amongst us, right? His physical presence in the sacrament, and what that means for us, the fact that Christ, he didn't come and then leave like he stayed.
He stayed with us and in a way that is more intimate and more more physically palpable and more inside of us than than even when he was walking on the earth in the Holy Land. What is it about Christ's presence in the Eucharist that that is so important that that the church in the in the United States should make this emphasis this year?
Fr. Charles TrullolsOne of the things that I, I was encouraging people who come to the Catholic Information Center and during this Easter time in which we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, is the possibility that people can, you know, to to make an effort and go to daily mass because the Eucharist, we cannot forget it is a source of strength, of nourishment.
It and we participate in the dignity of Christ in some way, in a mysterious way. Right. Could Christ come to leave, to stay with us in our souls? And and that it's it's so mysterious that if we were to be able to understand even more deeply, we would be I mean, we would go to receive communion, right? To try to receive communion in the state of grace as much as we could.
And this is my my it has been my suggestion or my recommendation to so many people to try. If they can't, that is not possible. But to receive our Lord more frequently and then also to make him company when Jesus Jesus is in the in the tabernacle. And if we were to live 2000 years ago, we would be very honored to be able to walk with Jesus, to be with him, to to listen to him.
Right. Well, we have him in all the tabernacles of our churches, in our parishes. So these were the national juxtaposition, I think is I saw the national Eucharistic year, you know, is trying to promote and and the procession this again this coming Saturday, May 18th is going to make that physically visible right from from the public square perspective.
GrazieDo you think that that it's you know there was a very sad poll recently that that said that I don't remember percentage but it was shocking Catholics don't believe or don't understand in the the concept of the real presence that Christ is really present in the Eucharist. Do you think that that may be the the sad falling away sometimes that that that does happen of people falling away from the church could be due to a lack of understanding of the real presence?
Fr. Charles TrullolsI think you're right. I think that the deeper formation in the new generations of what from from you know, from the church of what the Eucharist is. And it's so important because otherwise people may go to mass just thinking that they are going to like ethanol, social gathering or religious gathering, religious gathering, but but not understanding the depth of having Jesus during the present there.
Who helps us, Who cares for us? Who has, as you said, stayed with us. So focusing on that aspect moving forward, it's a key element for a lot of people to continue to believe also, because don't forget, it's not just about wanting to believe and we need God and grace for that. And the Eucharist provides that help and grace that we all need to to grow deeper in our faith.
And so the Eucharist is very, very, very important.
GrazieYes, It's amazing, right? Like you think of how people are sadly sometimes growing up in a church which which presents itself many times as more of a social work institute, Right. People come here and help us feed the homeless, which is wonderful, of course, and listen to a great homily, but then misses that that that incredible mystic connection, that deep spiritual connection and that and as you say, that that divinity somehow that that we receive by participating in the life of Jesus.
And then people are missing that. And it's and it's so wonderful, Charles, that you're you're actually walking that divinity through the streets of downtown D.C., which if we stop and think about, is the center of the world and on many real levels, right, like the center of power of material or economic power and political power, what the decisions that are made there are affecting probably every single last person that lives on this earth in one way or another.
Fr. Charles TrullolsYeah, you're right. I remember Mother Teresa, so beloved by by everyone. Right. And who dedicated her life completely to the poor and and to those dying in in. And she has to spread this message around the world. She used to have as a center of her life, the Eucharist, not anything else but the Eucharist, because it's not enough to have good desires to to to be better, to the good and to help others.
We need the strength, We need the energy, the spirit. One energy, the generosity. And all this comes from God. So so having that in mind wherever you are a professional, right? That a father and mother, husband and a spouse, wife and son and a daughter and and we really want to make an impact in our family, in our country, put the Eucharist as the center of your life.
And then all these things will happen with God's help and grace. So that's kind of how I see it. And then the Eucharistic procession again this coming Saturday, May 18th, in Washington, D.C., by the Catholic Information Center, wants to promote these in the view that it's so at the foundation of our belief.
GrazieWell, truer words were never spoken for other than the fact that putting Jesus in the Eucharist, especially in the center of our lives, will make everything else make sense and bring us so much joy. So thank you so much, Father. Where can our listeners go online to read about the CAC and especially the upcoming procession on the 18th?
Fr. Charles TrullolsWe have a great website. These CAC DC dot org again CAC DC dot org. And there we have a page dedicated to the Eucharist, the procession, and with all the information we will start at 930 with mass. We will have this at the Catholic Information Center on K Street between 16 and 16 and there will be another floor I'm sure we all have, having also a screen there to follow the the mass livestream And and then afterwards we will start the procession at 1015 in the morning, 10:15 a.m. and each week it will last more or less an hour and a half.
It's one mile. It's very simple and easy to walk. And there are so many families with children who are already signing up. You can send up there on on on the website and register and and it's shown again, it's going to be a very festive, beautiful, full of faith event. And again, you can find all the information on the CAC website.
GrazieThank you so much, Father Charles and those of us who can't be there, we will accompany you and our prayers. And we and we hope and pray that you will have thousands of attendees this year and and purify the streets in Washington, N.J., and change so many hearts. Thank you, Father.
Fr. Charles TrullolsThank you, God. Thank you very much.
GrazieAnd now, Father Roger Landry offers us, as is customary, a short and inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday's gospel.
Fr. Roger LandryThis Father Roger Landry and it's a joy for me to be with you as we enter into the consequential conversation. The reason where Jesus wants to have with us this Sunday should probably say conversations in the plural. Since depending upon where you live in the U.S., you'll have one of two gospels, those in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nebraska.
We'll hear the Gospel of the seven Sunday of Easter. Those everywhere else will of the Gospel of the Ascension of the Lord. Since the bishops in those ecclesiastical provinces decided in 1998 1999 to transfer the ascension from the 40th day after Easter to the seven Sunday, they did so because they recognized that if they didn't, Catholics who don't attend on holy days of obligation despite moral duty, would always miss celebrating this feast liturgical.
Ironically, however, in making the decision to move the ascension to the 43rd day after Easter, the bishops in those provinces were eliminating. The Catholics would hear in Jesus words about the importance of Christian unity. On the seventh Sunday, a third of the 70 chapter, St John's Gospel of which is proclaimed every year that Catholics in the U.S. do not have unity with regard to the celebration of the solemnity of the ascension is unfortunate.
And I'd like to make what is now becoming an annual appeal that just as the church is praying for unity to be restored to the celebration of Easter between Catholics and Orthodox, we might likewise pray and speak to the Catholic bishops in our country about restoring unity to the celebration of the ascension on the 40th day. Since, however, we are still in a situation in which there's not unity, please permit me to say something about both Gospels, conscious of the fact that since Jesus is our interlocutor in every prayerful and consequential liturgical conversation, everything is intrinsically coherent.
We'll take the Gospel for the seven Sunday of Easter first since it happened first in time. In it we have the awesome privilege not only to eavesdrop on the extraordinarily rich interpersonal dialog Jesus had with God the Father the night he was betrayed. But to enter that conversation in the section of St John's 17 chapter we have this year, Jesus mentions five things.
First, Jesus prays that God, the Father will protect us, that may be in communion, just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one. A little later he asks the Father specifically to keep us from the evil one. The point is that the devil constantly seeks to divide us, which God wants to bring us into true communion with Him and others.
Any one of us who really believes in Jesus, who loves him, must pray and work for unity. The fact that Christians as a whole have been divided by so many schisms across the century, the fact that even Catholics are divided into ideological camps today is a great scandal, one that Jesus want you and me to help remedy. Second, Jesus prays that we may share His joy completely as he told us last Sunday, He came so that his joy might be in us and our joy might be made complete.
The Easter season is meant to help us focus precisely on that joy, the joy that flows from God's love, from his continual presence, from his triumph over sin and death. If we don't live the faith with joy, we risk making the good news seem like a lie. Third, Jesus mentions that the world will hate us just like it hated Jesus.
But we do not belong to the world any more than Jesus does because belong to God. She's many times in the Gospel promise that we would be hated by those who don't believe, love and follow God to what they did to him that tried to do to us. He said, God, the Father would permit this just like he permitted it to happen to Jesus so that we would be able to give more effective witness.
At the end of the Beatitudes, Jesus would tell us, Blessed are you. When people hate you, revile you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. For your reward will be great in heaven. This hatred we suffer from others is strong enough to take away our unity or negate the father's protection or rob us of our joy.
It only will if we fear that hatred from others more than we trust in a love of God. For Jesus asks the Father to consecrate us in the truth, adding that He has consecrated himself for us so that we might be so consecrated. To be consecrated literally means to be cut off in order to be with some other reality consecrating us.
God sets us apart. He cut us off from worldliness from the profane so we can be with him. Consecration is sacred dedication in which we transfer our belonging the title of the ownership of our life totally to God. It's like the covenant of the Old Testament in which God becomes our God and we become His people, the sheep of His flock.
He does this in us first in baptism, in which we're marked by a special seal. He does so also, as Jesus says by his word, which is meant like a double edged sword to prune us of anything that doesn't belong to God. We live the sense of belonging, that we belong to God. For example, more than the most loving husbands and wives belong to each other.
All four of these points culminate in mission. Jesus says, as you sent me into the world. So I sent them into the world being set apart to belong to God. We now share Christ's mission. Just as the Father sent Jesus. So Jesus sends us, He sends us consecrated in the truth that sets us free as messengers of the words of eternal life.
He prepares us for the opposition will receive from some just like the apostles and missionaries in every age have endured. But likewise, he promises us the Holy Spirit will help us in trial to give effective spiritual witness. And He sends us out United, seeking to bring them into community. Jesus says in next year's portion of John 17 that He wants us to be one so that the world may believe that you father sent me and love them just as much as you love me to help others believe in Jesus and in love God has for them.
We must events that love with each other. That's what the gospel for the seven Sunday of Easter is all about. We turn to the gospel, to the church, proclaim this year on Ascension, which took place over six weeks after Jesus words in the upper room. We see how Jesus essentially reiterates what he tells us in John 17. He says, Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized, whoever, in other words, accepts the gifts of consecration, will be saved. He mentions the opposition will get from demon serpents, even others who seek to poison us so that we won't be afraid of any deadly thing. And we see how the apostles respond to Jesus valedictory as the ascends to heaven by going forth and preaching everywhere.
While Saint Mark tells us the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. Those signs were not just physical healings and other powerful miracles. They were the compelling of Christian joy, unity and courage in the face of threat. They were the witness of their belonging to God, their consecration within Christ, consecration, a testimony that no intimidation, even torture, could sever.
And we're Christians today because of the way they faithfully responded to Jesus words in the upper room. And immediately before he was taken to heaven. Jesus tells us in both of these gospels can be applied to the reality of what happens to us in Holy Communion. This week, the in the United States will begin a four part 65 day national Eucharistic pilgrimage with roots leaving from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the Canadian Mexican borders all converging in Indianapolis on July 16th, the day before the first National Eucharistic Congress in 83 years.
I'm privileged to be able to carry Jesus for these nine plus weeks on the Eastern route, starting in New Haven, Connecticut, as we ask him to bless our land. It is in the Eucharist that Jesus fulfills the prayer he made on Holy Thursday that we began, as he and the father of one, the same Holy Spirit, who is the loving union between the Father and the Son, comes down upon us every mass, not just to change bread and wine into Jesus body.
Blood, soul and divinity, but to make us one body, one spirit in Christ. Sacrifice of the mass helps us to enter into Christ, consecration to fill us with joy, to protect us from the Devil's division, by our clinging to our Eucharistic Lord to prepare us to be sent out on mission, not just with the words of truth, but with the word made flesh.
Truth incarnate. The greatest accompanying sign that journeys with the church is witness is meant to be first. The risen Christ himself may truly present on our altars in our tabernacles, and then the Union through communion the Holy Spirit makes of us, which is what helps convince the world that God the Father sent the Son who truly loves us as He loves the Son.
That's why the Eucharistic revival is so important for the revival and flourishing of the church. That's why the Eucharistic pilgrimage beginning this week is hoping to accomplish, because the journey of the Pilgrim Church on Earth is ultimately a Eucharistic procession with the risen Jesus all the way to the heavenly Jerusalem, where God's desire for us to be in, to be one in the communion of saints within the Communion, a person to witness who is our Triune God will be fulfilled.
So we prepare for the gift of Sunday Mass. No matter what gospel will. Here we give God thanks that His prayer during the first Mass on Holy Thursday is great Commission have no expiration date. We ask Holy Spirit whom Jesus ascended to heaven to send down to us, to help us to respond to Jesus words as faithfully as his first followers did, so that great multitudes after us may hear and live Jesus life saving joy, filling words come to faith and through the mass communion with God and with us.
God bless you.
GrazieThank you, Father Landry. To hear more from Father Landry, check out his website and Catholic priest income. And you can also catch his writings at EWTN on National Catholic Register. A big thank you to all our listeners for joining us. I hope that this show was helpful. I hope that it gave you more peace and more hope and joy.
And you go with our prayers.