By Fran Perritano | Contributing writer
UTICA — Who was Carlo Acutis?
Carlo, who was born in London before moving to Milan several months after his birth, died at age 15 of leukemia, but before his passing he made an indelible mark with his technological skills and his devotion to the Holy Eucharist.
Holy Trinity Church in Utica hosted an exhibit last weekend created by Carlo: “The Vatican International Exhibition of the Eucharistic Miracles of the World.” This is the second time the parish has displayed the exhibit; the first was in 2015.
The catalyst behind bringing the exhibit to Utica is Holy Trinity parishioner Mary Currie.
“During Holy Week 2014, St. Patrick-St. Anthony’s Parish in Chadwicks was displaying the exhibit,” Currie said. “(I) attended the exhibit and was fascinated with pictures and descriptions of these extraordinary events.”
Currie said the exhibit in Chadwicks was brought upstate from the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island when one of the organizers moved to the area. Currie then contacted the organizers to find out how to have the display in Utica.
The exhibition has since been displayed at Holy Trinity, St. Joseph House of Prayer in Frankfort and St. Peter’s Church in Lowville.
“The exhibit has a display of 32 panels of the 163 miracles of the original exhibit,” Currie said. “Blessed Carlo Acutis … had the original idea for creating the display and helped to realize its fulfillment before he died.”
Using his technological skills, Carlo created the presentation with his notes and photos from family vacations after more than two years of travel to sites in 17 countries. He died on Oct. 12, 2006, after creating, producing and helping to complete this project.
Carlo was a teenager going to school and seeing his friends, and an expert for his age in computers. His encounter with Jesus Christ fit into all of this. Carlo attended Mass and received Communion daily and spent hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
Carlo was designated “venerable” in 2018 and was declared “blessed” on Oct. 10, 2020. The last step is sainthood.
Yvette Piper of Sauquoit attended the presentation at Holy Trinity. She said she viewed the exhibit a few years ago but was not fully aware of the role Blessed Carlo played.
“I have always been intrigued by the Holy Eucharist, and it was a great gift to have this documented, but I failed to really recognize that (Carlo) was the person responsible,” she said. “It really is amazing that God loves us so much (and) I just think with the year of the Eucharist and having this (exhibit), the diocese is trying to do the three years of growing our faith again.”
The Eucharistic Revival is a three-year initiative that aims to inspire, educate and unite, according to the Catholic News Agency. The revival is meant to show everyone what wonders the true presence of Jesus can do to heal the soul.
Holy Trinity parishioner Valerie Elacqua helped assemble the exhibit. She said Blessed Carlo’s work is especially important now.
“I think (it) makes this display even more relevant and important for our families and our young people so that they can see this is a contemporary soon-to-be saint, just in love with the Eucharist, and especially since we’re moving into this (Eucharistic Revival), it’s just such a perfect time. It’s like all these things coming together … so our children, our teens or young adults can look at this young man and say ‘Here’s a beautiful example.’”