1323at the last supper, on the night he was betrayed, our saviour instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood.  this he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet "in which christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us"
 1407The eucharist is the heart and the summit of the church's life, for in it christ associates his church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his body which is the church.

                                                         (excerpts taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church;   copyright © 1994 Concacan Inc., Canada)