Let me tell you about this guy who works at my office. His name is Bryan and he’s definitely one of my favorite Catholics alive today. He’s a convert to the Catholic Faith and for the last 14 years of his life he’s been cataloging every Communion he’s received. As the story goes, in the beginning of his faith journey a friend gave him a prayer journal to use in prayer but instead of journaling his dialogue with the Lord, he decided to use it for statistical analysis.
This is what receiving 5,000 Communions looks like:
– He’s received Communion in 394 different churches in 31 states and 6 countries.
– 4,138 of them were in Illinois; 465 were in Missouri; 66 in Nebraska; 43 in Florida; 180 were spread out over 26 other states and the District of Columbia. (SIDE NOTE: there are 20 elusive states in which he hasn’t received Communion).
– 108 Communions were on foreign soil: Israel 37, Mexico 35, Palestine 31, Jordan 4, and Switzerland 1.
– In the 5,301 days that have elapsed since he was received into the Church on April 19, 2003, he’s received Communion on 4,835 of those days — 91.2% of the days.
– On 165 days, he received Communion twice. According to his analysis, he’s never received three Communions in one day (which isn’t allowed under Canon Law anyway).
– His current record is 253 consecutive days of receiving communion.
– He just received his 1,000th Communion in his home parish of St. Mary’s in Dekalb, IL.
THESE ARE THE TOP 10 CHURCHES WHERE HE HAS RECEIVED COMMUNION:
1) St. Mary (DeKalb, IL): 1057
2) Conception Seminary (Missouri): 427
3) Mundelein Seminary (Illinois): 381
4) St. Mary (Sycamore, IL): 359
5) SS. Peter and Paul (Naperville, IL): 271
6) 5 Stones home office chapel (Sycamore, IL): 197
7) Our Lady of Mercy (Aurora, IL): 190
8) Holy Angels (Aurora, IL): 159
9) St. Joseph (Downers Grove, IL): 151
10) Holy Cross (Batavia, IL): 137
I know in my own walk with the Lord there have been times that I’ve skipped Mass during the week and begrudgingly woke up on Sunday mornings for Mass with the family. When talking to Bryan though, you meet a person who has the exact opposite attitude when it comes to the sacrifice of the Mass. He’s the kind of guy who lights up when he recalls the different churches that he got to visit over the weekend. When I read through this statistical breakdown, I’m challenged as a cradle Catholic to appreciate the immense gift of Jesus giving himself to us at every Mass. For me it’s a sobering reminder that Mass and the worthy reception of Holy Communion is a gift to be sought after, rather than just merely something we drag ourselves to every Sunday morning out of obligation.