| By Katie Camario

An Encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist Changed Father Kyle Bell’s Destiny

Father Kyle Bell was raised as a Methodist where he learned a strong foundation in Christianity.

“I went to Sunday school, where I first learned about Jesus and first developed a relationship with Him,” recalls Father Kyle Bell. “However, I never thought I would be Catholic and certainly not a priest,” he said.

After graduating high school, Father Bell attended Florida State University. During his junior year, he met Catholic students who introduced him to Catholic teachings on the Eucharist.

“Hearing that they believed the Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus was beautiful,” said Father Bell. But he wasn’t convinced, at least not yet.

After college graduation, Father Bell entered the Methodist Seminary to become a Methodist pastor and started to research the idea of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

“Growing up Methodist, we would have communion once a month using bread and grape juice,” he said. “We always saw it as a memorial of the Last Supper; there was never any idea that this was actually Jesus.”

A friend suggested he visit a Catholic church that had perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.“I remember I would go to the Adoration Chapel and just sit, and I would ask in prayer, ‘Jesus is that you?’” he said.

At the same time, he enrolled in classes to learn more about the Catholic faith, even though he wasn’t looking to become Catholic.

However, through the process his heart was softened towards Jesus in the Eucharist. During Christmas break that year, he accepted an invitation to attend Midnight Mass. That’s when Father Bell had a conversion. “At that moment, I recognized Jesus who I had fallen in love with back when I was a little boy, the Jesus I've been friends with. That's him. He's right there,” said Father Bell.

Soon after, he became Catholic and entered semi-nary to become a priest. He now shares his love of the Eucharist with college students while serving as Director of the Catholic Student Center at the University of South Florida.

“It’s a privilege to witness that moment of encounter between Jesus and each particular heart. It's holy ground. It’s witnessing God encountering a soul in a heart-to-heart moment,” said Father Bell.

Father Bell encourages those seeking to have this encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist to pray.

“If you believe in Jesus, but not necessarily the Eucharist, just ask, ‘Jesus, is that you?’ Ask Him to reveal Himself, and then be open to whatever His response is,” he said. “It will change your life. But it will be a good change.”


The Catholic Student Center at USF is a ministry of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. It supports the evangelization of students at the campus and the formation of the next generation of Catholics. If you would like to learn more about how to become a member or on how to help support the ministry visit: catholicusf.org

Katie Camario is a freelance writer and photographer in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.