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‘I’ve been freed to see the love He has for me’

 

 

May 3, 2023

Editor’s note: The following is part of an occasional series, Gather at the Table, highlighting Catholics in our diocese who are in love with Jesus in the Eucharist. If you know someone who should be featured in this series, please email dfargo@rcdony.org or call Darcy Fargo, NCC editor, at 518-319-6284.

By Darcy Fargo
Editor

She first fell in love with the teachings of the Church. That led her to fall in love with Jesus in the Eucharist.

Katie Poupore of North Bangor, a parishioner of St. Augustine’s and St. Mary’s in North Bangor and Brushton, said she grew up Catholic but didn’t understand and appreciate her faith early on.

“I’ve always been Catholic, but I struggled with my faith – I didn’t understand it – until I was 19,” she said.

It was then when Poupore had the opportunity to study in Spain.

“There was a group of students, Americans, who wanted to get a Bible study started, so I started going to that,” she said. “Around that time, God was moving in my heart to turn me away from the lifestyle I was living. Morally speaking, we’re called to live in the world but not be of the world. I was living of the world. God was kind of pursuing me. Around that time, I started saying the Rosary daily, and I started seeking out daily Mass more. I was struck by the Lord to change my life and start living for God and others instead of just for myself.”

Early in her process of growing in faith, Poupore said began learning everything she could about Church teachings.

“I try to be a rational thinker,” she said. “I try not to base how I live my life on my feelings. I did a deep dive into the academics of the Church. I was listening to Matt Fradd’s Pints with Aquinas, reading a lot of Christopher West on theology of the body, I just really started leaning into learning about what the Church teaches and why. Through all of that, I came to learn that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. I came to rationally understand what the Eucharist is and what it meant for me and my life as a Catholic. Once I understood that, I knew I could never leave the Church, and I knew I needed the Eucharist.”

After accepting the truth of the Eucharist at an academic level, Poupore said the sacrament changed her life.

“It’s the most intimate way I can receive Jesus,” she said. “I began to realize that the Eucharist would be what kept me going in my faith. It’s spiritual nourishment. My relationship with Jesus grew because of that. I started spending time with Jesus in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and experiencing him in that way. I have a spiritual director, and he would tell me being in front of Jesus in Adoration is like being warmed by the sun. I felt that way. At the beginning of my reversion, I saw God as a rule maker. I can say now that through frequenting the Sacrament and through time in Adoration, seeing Jesus in the Eucharist and experiencing that intimacy, I’ve been freed to see the love He has for me.”

Poupore said she feels developing her knowledge of the faith has helped her develop her relationship with Jesus.

“When people think of worship, I think most people think of something very emotional and an energetic or enthusiastic experience,” she said. “When they look at us as Catholics, they don’t see that at the surface. But when we go to worship and receive Jesus in the Eucharist, there’s a strong intimacy there. We’re intimately connected to Him. It’s displayed differently than what people might expect or think of, but it’s very beautiful.”

She said she recently read a book on the feminine genius that helped her feel more intimately connected to Christ.

“The book said that as women, we are made to receive,” she said. “A woman receives her husband both physically and emotionally. Jesus intends to give himself to the Church. Jesus is clear that we, the Church, are his bride, and He is the bridegroom. I love that idea of connecting to Him, Him being the giver and giving His full self to me.”

A high school teacher, Poupore shares her love of Christ with youth as a parish catechist. She’s also been developing fellowship with a new women’s group at her parish.

“The fellowship piece is so important,” she said. “We’re united with one another. We are all participating in the Mass and receiving our Lord in the Eucharist. I love how united that makes us as a Church. We all have that unity of Christ as our bridegroom.”

Poupore said she also tries to share the love of God with the world around her.

“God created us,” she said. “He desires a relationship with us. Often people think of Catholicism, and they think of the rules. There’s freedom in living a virtuous life and trying to grow closer to Jesus. I lived the life with me at the center. I would never go back to that. There’s so much freedom in His name and in His Church. I’m truly blessed to understand a little bit of how to live the sacramental life and how to be a part of His Church and Body.”

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