Archbishop Charles J. Chaput: “Do This in Remembrance of Me”: Memory, Culture, Sacrament

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We’ve forgotten who we are as a believing people. This is both a cause and a symptom of today’s lukewarm Catholic spirit, in our nation’s culture and within the Church herself. But that can change, and it needs to change.

By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., Catholic World Report, Oct. 22, 2022

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap. is the archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia and author of Things Worth Dying For: Thoughts on a Life Worth Living (Henry Holt), as well as Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics and Render unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life.

Editor’s note: The following keynote address was given by Archbishop Chaput at the Eucharistic Symposium at the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More in Arlington, VA, on October 22, 2022.


Our theme today is the Eucharist and the words of Jesus in Luke 22: Do this in remembrance of me. Do this in memory of me. So I want to focus my remarks on three simple things: the importance of memory; the place of remembering in our particular American culture; and the role of the Eucharist in reminding us who God is, who we are, and why we’re here.

Memory is a curious thing. Most animals remember and seek to avoid danger. But human memory is unique and acute. It’s one of the defining gifts of our creaturehood. We’re the only species to bury our dead and mark their graves. And we do that out of reverence for the part they played in the world we share, and to keep the deceased alive in our memory. …