Eucharistic Encounter 29: The story of Mrs. Peggy O’Neill

Hi, this is Fr. Rocky in the beautiful new Chapel of the Proclamation in Lincolnshire, Illinois – our headquarters. I sure hope you can come see it someday – it’s truly beautiful and took us three years to build. It’s a part of our effort to embrace the Eucharistic Revival. Today I’m sharing with you another story of the Holy Eucharist as we prepare for the Congress, July 17th-21st 

Years ago, I attended the University of Notre Dame for my MBA. I lived at the Opus Dei center called Windmoor on Notre Dame Avenue. Across the street in a little white house lived a little old woman: Mrs. Peggy O’Neill. She had lived next door to Jim O’Neill and his seven children when his wife passed away. Mr. and Mrs. O’Neill got married and she raised the children. Eventually they grew up and left home and Jim passed away. Mrs. O’Neill kept a beautiful black and white photo of him in a suit and tie in her living room to look at every time she missed him. She developed arthritis and moving became difficult, but every day she would sit on her couch and look out the large window in her living room – the one that faced Notre Dame Avenue, where all the students would walk. She hoped someone would come visit her, and many did. I visited her a few times, too.

The routine with Mrs. Peggy O’Neill was similar each time: she would ask how you were doing, give you banana nut bread or cookies, and then she’d write your name on a piece of paper. You always knew that Mrs. O’Neill was going to pray for your intentions!

Folks, sometimes I think Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is just like that. He is in the tabernacle and there we are, walking by and driving by. He’s just waiting for someone to come in and visit with Him so He can give us (metaphorically, of course) chocolate chip cookies or banana bread. Grace and consolation and hope and joy! If we are to have a Eucharistic Revival in this country, it’s up to us to spend a little time with Jesus every day in the Holy Eucharist. You can go at your parish, or even while you’re driving by – or maybe even here in the Chapel of the Proclamation!

Did you know that when you spend a little time with Jesus, He will give you grace and help you with your problems? Every visit to Jesus draws us closer to Him. I like to think that sometimes we should go in and say, “Here I am, Lord, I’ve come to visit You! How was Your day?”

He’d probably say, “Well, not much. I’ve been in the tabernacle all day. How was your day?”

Come visit Jesus! Don’t leave Him alone.

I hope to see you at the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, July 17th through the 21st. You can find out more about it at – let’s all show up for Jesus!

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Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, "Fr. Rocky" is the Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio and a priest of Opus Dei.