U.S. Bishops Launch "Eucharistic Revival: My Flesh for the Life of the World"



A National Eucharistic Revival was launched on June 19, the feast of Corpus Christi, by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The three-year initiative, "Eucharistic Revival: My Flesh for the Life of the World," invites U.S. Catholics of all ages to become part of a national movement “to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.”


According to the chairman of the USCCB on Evangelization and Catechesis Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of the Diocese of Crookston, the three years of focus on the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist will culminate in the first National Eucharistic Congress in the United States since 1976. Almost a hundred thousand Catholics are expected to journey to Indianapolis for a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to celebrate the “source and summit” of our Catholic faith.


The bishops believe God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States, “healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist – and sent out in mission ‘for the life of the world.’” As the committee presented its plan in June of 2021, Bishop Cozzens said, “Right now, the Church in the United States needs the healing and the unity that can flow from rekindling our love for the Eucharist. We need to rekindle the love of our people so they can become missionaries and reach out to the margins as we are called to do by Pope Francis' 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti.”


The committee has established a national corps of 56 Eucharistic Preachers to speak at diocesan events. The initiative encourages dioceses to plan diocesan-wide days of adoration, Eucharistic evangelization and service events through June of 2023. Training for parish leaders will begin in the fall of 2022 to prepare them for offering formation and worship events at the parish level by June of 2023. In its final phase, the initiative calls for training of “Eucharistic missionaries” in each parish to be sent out to evangelize and serve those in need.


The Evangelization Committee began planning for a National Eucharistic Revival after a 2019 Pew Research study indicated that up to 69 percent of Catholics don’t believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. Planning was delayed due to COVID-19 limitations, and Bishop Cozzens cited the impact the pandemic has had on Catholics as another reason for initiating a National Revival at this time.


"We hope at the end of these three years, we will have formed and sent more than 100,000 missionaries who are ready to share the love of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist with our world," Bishop Cozzens told the bishops.


"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." (Jn 6:51)



Five Pillars of the Eucharistic Revival


  • Foster encounters with Jesus through kerygmatic proclamation and experiences of Eucharistic devotion.

  • Contemplate and proclaim the doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist through the truth of the Church's teaching, the beauty of the Church's worship and the goodness of a life of service.

  • Empower grassroots creativity by partnering with movements, apostolates, educational institutions and parishes.

  • Reach the smallest unit: parish small groups and families.

  • Embrace and learn from the various rich intercultural Eucharistic traditions.


Timeline


June 19, 2022: Launch of the Eucharistic Revival on the feast of Corpus Christi


June 19, 2022 – June 11, 2023

Diocesan leaders and priests participate in diocesan-level formation events and prepare for training Eucharistic missionaries for the parish revivals that begin in June 2023.


June 11, 2023 – July 17, 2024

The revival happens in parishes, with the assistance of “Eucharistic missionaries” who Bishop Cozzens described as "parish lay leaders who help to organize and carry out the revival at the parish level."


July 17-21, 2024: National Eucharistic Congress - Indianapolis

Thousands of Catholics will journey on pilgrimage to Indianapolis. The goal is to "animate and strengthen” them through a personal encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist.

July 17, 2024 – Pentecost 2025

The pilgrims who attend the National Congress are sent as missionaries to their dioceses and parishes and “out to the margins to invite people into our ‘Eucharistic communities,’” according to Bishop Cozzens.


Prayer for the Revival


My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, nor adore, nor hope, nor love You.

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended. And, through the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of sinners.


Our Lady of Fatima

History of Eucharistic Congresses in the U.S.


National Congresses:


  • 1895: The First National Eucharistic Congress of the United States was held in Washington, D.C., in 1895, according to the Sept. 28, 1895 Sacred Heart Review.


  • 1935: Pope Pius XI addressed the crowd by radio at the Cleveland National Eucharistic Congress in 1935. More than 500,000 people attended.


  • 1938: The National Eucharistic Congress in New Orleans in 1938 drew more than 100,000 people.


International Congresses hosted in the U.S.


  • 1926: The first International Eucharistic Congress on U.S. soil was in Chicago in 1926. An estimated 500,000 people attended Mass at Soldier field. As many as 1 million were at the closing Mass at Mundelein Seminary.


  • 1976:1,500,000 people attended the 41st International Eucharistic Congress in 1976 held in Philadelphia. Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day were panelists at a conference during the congress and future Pope John Paul II gave a homily.


Did you know?


St. Paschal Baylon, a 16th century Franciscan friar from Spain, was declared the “Seraph of the Eucharist” and the patron of all Eucharistic Congresses and Associations by Pope Leo the XIII in the late 17th century.


The first Eucharistic Congress was held in Lille, France in 1881 by clergy and laypeople who wanted to evangelize the world through adoration of the Eucharist.


Budapest, Hungary hosted the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress “All My Springs Are in You” Sept. 5-12, 2021, postponed from 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic. Estimates from media sources reported approximately 200,000 people participated in the candlelight procession that extended over two miles on the evening before the papal Mass on Sept. 12, the first papal Mass at a Eucharistic Congress in 21 years. Up to 15,000 youths attended the youth prayer vigil on Sept. 10.



Background


  • The goal of executing a National Eucharistic Congress was included in the USCCB 2021-2024 strategic plan “Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope” which was approved 193-3 with two abstentions by the bishops in November of 2020.


  • The U.S. Bishops published “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church” in November of 2021, emphasizing the importance of the Gift of the Eucharist and clarifying the transformative effect it has on those who gratefully “take a full, conscious, and active part in the liturgical celebration” in response to it, as called for by the Second Vatican Council.


The personal and moral transformation that is sustained by the Eucharist reaches out to every sphere of human life. The love of Christ can permeate all of our relationships: with our families, our friends, and our neighbors. It can also reshape the life of our society as a whole. Our relationship with Christ is not restricted to the private sphere; it is not for ourselves alone. The very solidarity or communion in Christ’s self-giving love that makes the Church and makes us members of the Church orders us beyond the visible community of faith to all human beings, whom we are to love with that very same love that forms our communion with the Lord.

Otherwise, if we do not love all human beings in this way, our communion with the Lord is impaired or even contradicted. This love extends particularly and “preferentially” to the poor and the most vulnerable. We all need to be consistent in bringing the love of Christ not only to our personal lives, but also to every dimension of our public lives. (35)



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