The three-year Eucharistic Revival in the American Church will officially start on Saturday, June 18 for the feast of Corpus Christi.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ three-year eucharistic revival will culminate with a five-day National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis July 17-21, 2024, and conclude on Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2025. It will be the first National Eucharistic Congress since 1976 and is expected to draw between 60,000-100,000 people.
With a vote of 201 in favor, 17 against and five abstentions, the bishops approved the revival during their general assembly in Baltimore Nov. 17 to confront scandal, division and doubt facing the American Church, according to eucharisticrevival.org, a USCCB-sponsored website explaining the event.
“The Eucharistic Revival came about from the leadership of the USCCB to rekindle in the hearts of the people a love for the Eucharist, to know the Eucharist better and to see the fruits of the Eucharist, as well, as we are sent out into mission,” said Father Juan Guido, director of the diocese’s Office of Divine Worship and pastor of Christ the King Church in Fort Smith. “As Bishop Taylor recently mentioned, there are a lot of Catholics who maybe don’t understand all of the mysteries of the Eucharist. It was born to make sure the Eucharist is the center of our faith and to once again rekindle the hearts of all those who believe.”
He added, the revival was established to “to inspire and prepare the people of God to be formed, healed, converted, united and sent out to a hurting and hungry world through a renewed encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist — the source and summit of our Catholic faith.”
Each year of the revival has a strategic focus for formation and missionary discipleship. Year One (2022-2023) is a year of diocesan revival centered on the mystery of the Eucharist in the life of the Church, Year Two (2023-2024) will be a year of parish revival focused on catechetical studies on the Real Presence of Christ and other activities to enable deeper encounters with Our Lord in the Eucharist and Year Three (2024-2025) will begin with the National Eucharistic Congress, which will “prepare the faithful from around the country to go out to the peripheries of their communities as ‘eucharistic missionaries.’”
Facing geopolitical crises, scandal, social unrest, increased polarization and the need for recovery and renewal from the COVID-19 pandemic, the bishops approved the revival in hopes of fostering healing, unification in the American Church, faith formation and conversion. They pointed to several factors for the need for the revival, including a 2019 Pew Research Center survey that purported to find that only about a third of American Catholics believed in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, reports that more than 30 percent of Catholics have not returned to in-person Mass post-pandemic and news that among millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996 — more than 40 percent identify as “unaffiliated” with any religion.
At the general assembly in Baltimore in November, Auxiliary Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who was recently named bishop of Crookston, Minn., and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, said he hopes the revival will be a time of healing for the entire Church as well as a movement of evangelization and a reawakening of understanding of the sacrament of the Eucharist for Catholics across the country.