AFRICA - People "have hunger for the Eucharist": it is urgent to form catechists, lay people, extraordinary ministers
"The Eucharist remains essentially the heart of the Church's missionary activity. Without it nothing can be achieved. As Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus says, in the absence of the Eucharistic Jesus the Gospel cannot be announced, the sick cannot be comforted and healed, the world cannot be led to the Kingdom of Heaven": explains Father Donald Zagore to Agenzia Fides, Ivorian theologian of the Society of African Missions. "The reason for being of the mission - the theologian points out - is the Eucharist. John Paul II said that 'the Church lives by the Eucharist'. Without the Eucharist, the Church no longer has her reason for being, continues the missionary. Yet, without being responsible for this dramatic situation, many Christian communities in Africa and in the world remain for years without the Eucharist due to the lack of priests".
"It must be said - underlines Father Donald - that many Christian communities in Africa and in the world are forced to a true 'Eucharistic famine', to the impossibility of sacramental communion. Without exaggerating, one could even speak of a form of involuntary excommunication".
In the light of this, he notes, "a vigorous and prophetic response is needed more than ever, that offers a saving solution to this pastoral problem that not only seriously undermines the missionary activity of the Church of Africa, but also empties our Christian communities. Without concrete answers to their situations, our faithful turn to other religious realities".
"Besides praying to the Lord of the harvest, so that he can send workers for his harvest, as the Gospel recommends, concrete actions must be taken to provide concrete answers to this question. One of the plausible paths today is to work for an accurate formation of the laity, catechists or extraordinary ministers of communion, and for those who have thirst and hunger for the Eucharist", concludes Fr. Zagore