Parish Stories

St. Gabriel the Archangel

McKinney, TX Diocese of Dallas


“The Eucharist is part of my identity!”

Celina Anthony

The Eucharist is part of my identity! Receiving the Eucharist reminds me that I belong to Jesus and that makes all the difference in my life. 

I have seen and experienced a breakthrough not only in my life but also in the lives of the people whom I surrender to Him during mass. I have witnessed Jesus bringing back my loved ones to church to attend Mass. 

I lift my petitions up to God, throughout Mass but especially when the priest lifts the Eucharist up. It is then when I ask God to transform my prayer. And He does it… every single time. 

I love going for daily Mass because I am strengthened and transformed at every Mass and with that, I am able to embrace what the world offers. The Eucharist builds me up to exercise Kingdom mindset and to demonstrate that in my daily walk on Earth. 

I look forward to being with Jesus during Adoration. There's something special about being there with Him. When I switch off from everything and everyone, I am able to connect with Him and hear Him. It is a time of healing and purification for me. To be with Him at the core of my identity strengthens me and gives me hope. He sets me free and sets me apart to do His will.

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“God is good all the time!”

Martha Doose

The Eucharist is my life and inspiration. Without it, I am empty and nothing. 

I am a “cradle Catholic” and know firsthand, after observing and occasionally participating in other sectors of religion, that the consecrated body and blood of Our Lord is my lifeline to being a spiritually honest, compassionate, and good human being. God is good all the time! My spirit and my soul feel full when I receive Holy Communion, and I am truly hungry for my daily food. 

I use this analogy when speaking to others about Adoration and praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I say it just like this: Put your thinking cap on and tell me who in your life is someone that you would give anything to meet. It could be a movie star, a singer, a political figure or just anybody that is very special and important to you that you admire. Next, think about what you would have to go through to meet that person. Most likely, red tape, protocol, and airline tickets to get to the location, and you may have to encounter many other challenges when you arrive at your destination. Now then, picture this… Jesus, who is your Creator (without whom you would not be alive today), is sitting all alone in the monstrance (for free) in Adoration, just waiting for you to walk in the door and visit with Him. Why would anyone not jump at the chance? 

I always tell everyone that one hour with Our Lord is worth 1,000 hours of any other activity they would like to do. It doesn’t get any better than that!!

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“What an amazing, loving, self-giving, merciful, forgiving God we have.”

Sheila Lovelace

I'm Sheila Lovelace, a parishioner and human just like you.

Sometime back, I was praying with Hosea 11:1-4 when verse 4 came alive. 

“Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, 
They did not know I was their healer.” 

It is as if I could see Jesus stooping down, like a servant, to wait on me, feeding me. I realized He was feeding me the Eucharist, His very self. I realized He was doing this continually. It came so alive to my heart that I cried, “No, Jesus, it is too much; you already died for us; you don’t need to keep stooping.” 

At the next daily Mass, It came alive again. This time, I realized Jesus, God, was being like fodder for me. He was the very lowest on the food chain for me. It was too much, and I cried, “You, God, stooped to become a human just like me, except without sins. You stooped further, allowing us to mistreat you and kill you. And now you stoop even further down by becoming our bread, our food, our fodder?” 

He helped me understand it must be this way. He is here to save me continually. He reminded me of Psalm 139: “Where can I go from your spirit? If I sink to the nether world, you are present there.” I understood that no matter what I do or where I go, He is always there, ready to stoop and pick me back up. 

What an amazing, loving, self-giving, merciful, forgiving God we have. It’s almost too much. He turns my heart toward Himself. He turns my heart to love him all that much more. He turns my heart to love others with His kind of love. Holy Spirit, help me love. Eucharist Jesus, God, save me.

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“I never felt the Lord’s presence as I did at that moment”

Elaine Gibson

I am a cradle Catholic; unfortunately, I fell away from the Church for 40 years. I always believed in God, but I felt too lazy to go to Mass. In 2019, I started going to Mass faithfully every Saturday at 5:00 p.m. It was a beautiful experience, but then the pandemic hit and I couldn’t go anymore. It was devastating, and my husband became ill at that time. Eventually, we were able to watch Mass online which brought me peace. 

My husband passed away in 2022 and I promised God I would dedicate the rest of my life to him. I started joining as many groups as possible at my parish, St. Gabriel. My life revolved around St. Gabriel. I knew two members of the parish back then, now I can honestly say I know hundreds. My life is so full and I am so blessed! 

At Mass, I saw people drink the Precious Blood but I didn’t and it weighed heavily on my heart. I would receive the host, but not the blood. I kept praying about it and then, in the early part of July, I was at Mass and I kept hearing the word “faith,” in my mind as the altar was being prepared. I drank from the cup and tears came down my cheeks, I never felt the Lord’s presence as I did at that moment. 

I never wanted to be a Eucharistic Minister, I felt unworthy. It kept weighing on my heart, I finally did it and it is the best thing I ever did. I still feel unworthy, but God has built me up, he loves me and I am living proof of that!

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“I've made some of my most difficult decisions in Adoration.”

Lori Peterson

I consider the Eucharist my personal connection to Jesus. I feel complete when I receive him in the Eucharist at Mass. 

I have gone through several difficult situations in my life and I have been beaten down. My self esteem was at rock bottom 12 years ago. I was able to come back to this side of Dallas Fort Worth and returned to St. Gabriel. I was so discouraged, but Jesus spoke to me in Adoration, telling me how loved I am and calling me His Beloved Daughter. I felt such a release and a peace wash over me. 

I love going to Mass and receiving Jesus for the connection to Him. However, I also love being able to serve and give Jesus to my friends. There is no better feeling than to be united with Jesus in the Eucharist. I am blessed to be able to share Jesus with my friends so that they can feel the complete unity with Christ Himself. 

Adoration is one of my favorite things. No matter the burden, you can offer it to the Most Blessed Sacrament and know that He cares. I've made some of my most difficult decisions in Adoration. I have received clarity in some situations all because I brought them to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I have seen others broken in front of Jesus and walk out whole. There is power in spending time with Jesus in Adoration.

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“It has been truly a gift to be able to sit freely with Jesus.”

Kathleen Radtke

Beginning my day with the Eucharist has become my mainstay. I know that I need to stay connected to Jesus throughout my day, especially at work and with my family, so starting my day with Mass has allowed me to keep Jesus close at hand. I can truly feel a difference in my day if I can't make it to Mass. 

I had a powerful encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist about 15 years ago, on a retreat during Adoration, as I was slowly coming back to my faith. I felt His presence so strongly that evening as the priest walked slowly through the room holding the monstrance. So much so that my heart felt like it was quite literally burning. At first, not knowing what was happening, I thought perhaps the room was just getting warm. But later that night, someone came up to me and told me that during Adoration, he had opened his eyes, saw me across the room, and that my heart seemed to him to be glowing. That was the first time I had ever had a physical manifestation of the Lord being present to me. Adoration continues to be a powerful experience of being close to the Lord for me. 

I love going to Mass and receiving Holy Communion because I know it's the closest I can physically be with Jesus during the day. That time just after Communion allows me to simply sit with Jesus and allow Him to work in me. My prayer is that the more I receive Communion, the more like Jesus I will become. 

I crave silence in this busy world. Adoration allows me to slow down, focus on Jesus and simply be present to Him. I used to have the need to bring reading to do, pray the rosary or read Scripture during Adoration. But lately, I have been content to simply sit quietly with the Lord. This took time to be comfortable with, but it has been truly a gift to be able to sit freely with Jesus.

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

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