Parish Stories

St. Francis Xavier

McKean, PA Diocese of Erie


“He gives me the strength to keep going”

Elaine Sinnott

The Eucharist keeps me centered on Who matters most and what matters most in my life.

I remember sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament and reading the story of the woman at the well. As I was reading it, I was suddenly very aware of the Lord’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament. I heard, “The conversation I had with her at the well is just as real as the conversation I am having with you now. You are sitting as close to me now as she was then.” This is something I hope to never forget! What a gift His words were in that moment.

I love how the Eucharist is a visual example of how individual Jesus’ love is for each of us. The God of our universe is available to come to little me, each and every day. What an intimate gift! 

I love the peace that comes with every visit. This world is chaotic, my own world at home is chaotic with six kids, homeschooling, and another baby on the way. It’s the perfect way to remember who my vocation is lived for and the love I feel from Him at every visit fills me up each time. He gives me the strength to keep going and to be courageous enough to be a witness for His love.

Read the Story

“The Eucharist is my life!”

Joe Preston

The Eucharist doesn’t make a difference in my life, it literally is my life. Without the Eucharist, I have nothing. 

When I am going through tough times whether it be school, work, relationships, family, if I stay connected to Mass and adoration, I can really say “it’s ok” in every and any situation. 

Man eats the bread of angels and now we can live forever. It’s easy to think of Jesus’ Incarnation as something that happened long ago. But Christmas happens everyday at Mass. That’s what I love about it. Jesus, everyday that I take part in the Mass and receive Holy Communion, takes on my flesh and comes to me, uniting me to Himself. 

Like Mass, adoration is a sneak peak of heaven. Adoration changes people, it changes me. When we sit there and look at Jesus as He looks back at us. We become more like Him. We are able to see our littleness and His infinite love for us more clearly every time.

Read the Story

“More than human hands”

Richard Moore

When I’m with the Eucharist, my mind clears and I can focus on what Jesus has done for me. I become aware of His suffering on the cross. I look to the crucifix and can feel His pain. I glance at my hands and see no scars and I am thankful for my blessings. Without weekly Mass, I begin to drift from His love and my heart becomes cold to God's children. 

Hearing the priest say, "Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life." And then, "Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink." 

The words, "human hands" draws me into becoming part of Holy Communion because I am human and a sinner. 

When the priest says, "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb,” This is the invitation I have been waiting for! This is the ultimate call to allow Jesus into my life. 

But wait, I am a sinner and I should not be offered grace. Then I say, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." My soul is healed. I open my heart and receive Jesus. Very quietly, and without boast, I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. 

Adoration is my time to be with my friend. I am able to talk to Jesus face to face, as if we were sitting at the supper table, just the two of us. Me, humbled and honored, thanking Him for everything. And then I become quiet and listen. I listen for the guidance and grace He gives. My eyes "well up" with tears as I feel His love for me warming my soul. This helps me through my struggles until the next time we are together.

Read the Story

“It often feels like it's just Him and me”

Irene Schneider

The Eucharist makes all the difference in my life. Jesus' Presence, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, brings me peace, connects me to so many others (living and deceased), and reminds me that I'm not alone. Jesus centers me and helps me quiet my mind. 

In 2010, my brother-in-law was killed in action in Afghanistan. Once the shock passed and we took care of making flight arrangements for my mom to go be with my sister, the only place I wanted to be was at church. I had to wait several hours until the church was open for morning Mass. Throughout that season of grief, it was at Mass, visits to adoration, and praying the Stations of the Cross that I found comfort.

Trusting Jesus to be with my sister and seeing how He strengthened her and brought her through the darkness, was edifying to my own belief.

Attending Mass each week, and sometimes during the week as well, helps me center my week. In the crazy hustle and bustle of this world, it is so easy to "get on the train" and keep going, missing life as it passes by. The Mass helps me to pause, reflect and take time to recognize all the blessings God has given me. Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, I contemplate how it is Him who is transforming me to be a better person, to be able to love better.

Adoration is my time with Jesus. Even if others are around, it often feels like it's just Him and me. I can spend a lot of time in my head, thinking about what needs to be done, generating other ideas of how I can do my job better, ways I could have done/responded differently. Stopping and taking time to sit with Jesus, allows me to simply "be." I can unburden myself, and not add to someone else's burdens. I ask Jesus to bless my work and guide me in His ways. To strengthen me in "tilling the soil," and help me to leave the rest of the “gardening” to Him. Knowing that He is the master gardener, that He can lighten my "yoke," gives me such peace and strengthens my relationship with HIM. I truly believe that by being close to Jesus, I am better able to be who God created me to be.

Read the Story

Inspire Others

Share Your Story

We invite you to submit your story of encountering Jesus in the Eucharist and inspire others to find in Jesus what they are looking for.

Share It


Experience it for Yourself

Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.

Come and See