The Rev. Robert Rousseau, SSS, created LITE I in l989. It uses the theory and principles of adult religious education to introduce laity and clergy to the three essential elements of contemporary eucharistic spirituality: the celebration of the Eucharist (the Mass); the contemplation of the Eucharist (Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament); and communion-with-the-suffering (the relationship between Eucharist and Justice).
The three main aspects of the Eucharistic Mystery – celebration, contemplation, and communion – are examined using five specific themes. The first three of these five themes, Eucharist: God’s Love as nourishment, reconciliation, and transformation in Jesus Christ, explore the celebration of the Eucharist. Eucharist: God’s Love as the abiding presence of Jesus Christ focuses on the contemplation of the Eucharist. Lastly, the relationship between the Eucharist and Justice investigates the theme of Eucharist: God’s love as liberation in Jesus Christ. The five themes comprise the essential content of the LITE I seminar.
The methodology used to make the content come alive for participants is experiential, interactive, and kerygmatic. Those conducting the seminar share how the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection is being embraced and integrated in their own faith lives. The message of the seminar is that the Mystery of the Eucharist is Good News for our lives. All who are involved in LITE understand themselves to be engaged in a ministry of eucharistic evangelization. Thus, the LITE seminars are contemporary vehicles for the new evangelization so strongly encouraged by the late Pope John Paul II.
Through the use of music, stories, personal written exercises, small group sharing, large group process, catechetical instruction and personal testimonies, the five themes of nourishment, reconciliation, transformation, abiding presence, and liberation are illuminated and explained. Participants leave the seminar with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the centrality of the Eucharist for the life of the Church and for their own spiritual journey to God in Christ Jesus.
Fr. Rousseau also designed The Old Testament Background to Eucharist. It is intended to be an enrichment seminar for all those who have experienced LITE I. It became available to existing lay LITE teams and seminar graduates in 1996.
The purpose of LITE II is to introduce seminar participants to five key biblical themes that form the background and theological context out of which the New Testament church began its articulation of its memory of the Last Supper and its own experience of celebrating the Lord’s Supper.
LITE II examines the following five Old Testament themes: covenant, memorial, sacrifice, berakah (blessing and praise), and prophetic service in the light of the New Testament’s understanding of the Eucharist. The methodology employed in LITE II is identical to that of the first seminar with the exception that the catechetical input is more detailed and intellectually more challenging.
The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament has as its charism within the life of the Church to make known the fullness of the Eucharistic Mystery. For more than a decade, the Blessed Sacrament Fathers and Brothers in various parts of the world have been encouraging lay people who have participated in the LITE seminars to become more intimately associated with the Congregation in the promotion of its mission.
In 1991, the first lay LITE team was formed at Corpus Christi Parish in Houston, Texas. The formation of this first team led to the creation of the Team Training Program for LITE . The purpose of this program is to provide an initial formation experience for those LITE seminar graduates who feel called by God to enter into the ministry of eucharistic evangelizing. When the Team Training Program is completed, a lay LITE team is born. This team is then commissioned to offer LITE-I to other groups in their parish and to bring the seminar into neighboring parishes and dioceses. There are lay LITE teams ministering in the United States and in a number of countries throughout the world.
The ministry being done by these lay LITE teams is truly a manifestation of the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. The mutuality of partnership that exists between lay LITE teams and the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament has initiated an authentic collaboration between laity, religious, and clergy that has extended the charism and mission of the Congregation into the grass roots life of local churches.
Dr Judith Brophy
3 Earl Street
Potts Point NSW 2011
Mobile: 0410 453 285 (February to November)
The first International LITE Congress was held in Houston, Texas in 1995.
Additional Congresses have been held since then: