Being led in Eucharistic devotion
by Vermont’s first bishop
In 1889, 36 years after he had begun his ministry as the first diocesan shepherd of the state of Vermont, Bishop Louis DeGoesbriand published one of his largest works in print: Christ on the Altar.
The full title was as follows,
Christ on the Altar. Instruction for the Sundays and Festivals of the Ecclesiastical year. Explaining how the life, miracles, and teachings of our Lord in the Holy Land are continued on the altar of the parish church (Benzinger Brothers, New York, 1889).
Such a lengthy title tells of much of the content and themes of the work. Christ on the Altar (or COTA as I will sometimes abbreviate it) is an extensive work, which encompasses scripture, Gospel history, doctrine, liturgy, patron saints, devotions, and more. While there are elements of Bishop DeGoesbriand’s writings that seem outdated with the culture and devotions of Catholicism in the 19th century, there shines in the same writings the timeless beauty of the indefectible Catholic faith, and the Church’s hope in Christ.
I have worked to find some selections of COTA that will be edifying and inspiring to Catholics today, especially concerning the central themes of the book. Our Lord is indeed “on the Altar” whenever and wherever the Eucharist is offered in a Catholic church!
Bishop DeGoesbriand zealously proclaimed the Church’s Eucharistic faith. He writings show an evident love for the Church’s liturgy, and a desire to teach all believers about the celebrations surrounding the intimate, tangible and enduring way that Christ remains with His Church.
I hope that you are indeed inspired and edified by these passages. If you have questions or comments I would love to hear from you. God bless you.
In Christ, with Mary our Mother,
Fr. Timothy Naples
Passages by themes