Eucharistic revival must begin at home with example from parents

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Dr. Betsy and David Donlon presented the first installment of Aquinas College’s Eucharistic Lecture Series. The title of their talk on Thursday, Sept. 14, was “Food for the Journey: The Eucharistic Family Life.” Three more lectures in the series are planned for the coming months. For more information, email Photo by Andy Telli

Actions can speak louder than words for parents trying to teach their children about the importance of the Eucharist in their faith journey.

That was one of the messages from Dr. Betsy and David Donlon in their Sept. 14 talk that kicked off the Aquinas College lecture series on the Eucharistic Revival.

“We live in a culture that often does not understand or believe in the Eucharist,”  said David Donlon. “We feel that it’s essential for Eucharistic revival to begin in the home, with parents as the primary educators. And we have to honestly ask ourselves – do our children see OUR love and devotion to the Eucharist?”

“In terms of the Eucharistic Revival, we think of the saying, more is caught than taught,” he added in an interview after the talk. “So the best thing that we think we can do as parents is to lead by example when it comes to our view on the Eucharist. They need to see us showing reverence. … And they need to see us prioritizing Sunday Mass and prayer time, especially in adoration.”

The Donlons’ talk was titled “Food for the Journey: The Eucharistic Family Life.”

“The Eucharist does for our spiritual life everything that food does for our bodily life,” said David Donlon, a teacher at St. Cecilia Academy. “It sustains us, it restores us, it delights us.”

The Eucharist also unites us, said Dr. Donlon, an assistant professor of education at Aquinas College. “Our belief in the Eucharist may not be something we can easily explain to others, but it unites us in a powerful way to Jesus and to each other.”

“There are many distractions in our world trying to pull us away from being truly unified to Christ and truly unified with one another,” she added. “But Jesus calls us to stillness and connection, communion, knowing what truly matters – who truly matters.”

To combat the influence of the secular culture that can lure people away from the faith, “the best defense is a good offense,” David Donlon said. “If we’re not teaching them to pray, somebody else will. If we’re not teaching them how to spend their time, somebody else will. …

“We know they’re not going to be in our home forever. They’re going to grow up and leave the nest,” he added. “We’re doing the best we can with the time we have with them to prepare them for this sometimes crazy world, to know where they can go to find peace, where they can go to find lasting happiness, not what the world has to offer. You can find it here in the Eucharist, in the one true, holy, catholic, apostolic Church.”

The schedule for the remaining talks in the lecture series is:

  • Thursday, Dec. 14. “The Real Presence: Source of Joy” by Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, OP
  • Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. “That They May Have Life: the Effects of the Eucharist in Your Soul” by Sister Marie Bernadette Thompson, OP.
  • Thursday, April 25, 2024. “Eucharist: The Amazing Real Presence in a Humanistic World” by Deacon Mark Faulkner.

All talks will begin at 7 p.m. in the Aquinas Center, located behind Aquinas College, 4210 Harding Pike, Nashville. The talks will be followed by Eucharistic adoration at 7:45 p.m.

For more information, email

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