Eucharistic Revival Coming to USA

Eucharistic Revival Coming to USA May 12, 2022

In August 2019, a Pew Research Center study showed that only one-third of U.S. Catholics agree with the Church that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ.  Sixty-nine percent stated it is symbolic.  In addition to this, it was also reported that 60% of observant Catholics who attend Mass weekly accept the Church’s teaching on transubstantiation – meaning, that bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.  Since concerns were raised in regards to how the question was posed to those interviewed for the study, the U.S. Bishop’s Conference commissioned two additional studies.  The results were not any better: both studies reached the same conclusion.  Either most Catholics do not believe a foundational tenant of the faith, or at least struggle to express what they believe.

In response to this reality, and adding the experience of the COVID-19 Pandemic when the faithful were unable to attend the Eucharist in person, the Bishops have called for a Eucharistic Revival throughout the country.  We are currently in the preparation stage which will lead to Diocesan Initiatives starting in late 2022 and into 2023.  These will mostly be Diocesan Eucharistic Congresses.  Parish Initiatives will follow in 2023-2024 which will include such things as Eucharistic devotion, preaching, small groups, family activities, etc.  Close attention will be given to creative grassroots initiatives.  Finally, there will be a National Eucharistic Congress in the summer of 2024 in Indianapolis modeled after the well-known international World Youth Days, which will conclude with the sending of 100,000 missionaries throughout the country to preach and teach on the Eucharist.

The theme chosen for the Eucharistic Revival is: “Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ, Source of our Healing and Hope.”  Every age requires healing and hope, including our own.  After two years of COVID and the present fear of worldwide conflict to spill out from Russia, the Church invites us to find healing and hope in Christ truly present in our midst.

Father Jorge Torres, a priest of the Diocese of Orlando, has been appointed to serve as a Specialist for the Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis for the U.S. Bishop’s Conference.  He has been charged with the promotion of the Eucharistic Revival.  He recently made a presentation to the Priests of the Diocese of Savannah during our Clergy Conference.

Father Torres concluded his presentation by asking each one of us to recall the moment when we gained a deeper awareness that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.  He challenged us to share with our Parishioners from our personal experience.  I conclude with a prayer from the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom that I prayed as an eighteen-year-old high school senior at Saint Ignatios of Antioch Melkite Catholic Church.  The whole congregation prays it together before approaching to receive communion:

“I believe, Lord, and profess that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God, come to this world to save sinners, of whom I am the greatest.  I believe also that this is really Your spotless Body and that this is really Your precious blood.  Wherefore, I pray to You: have mercy on me and pardon my offenses, the deliberate and the indeliberate, those committed in word and in deed, whether knowingly or inadvertently, and count me worthy to share without condemnation Your spotless Mysteries, for the remission of sins and for eternal life.  Receive me now, O Son of God, as a participant in your Mystical Supper, for I will not reveal Your mystery to Your enemies, nor give You a kiss like Judas, but like the thief, I confess You: remember me, Lord, in Your Kingdom.”

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