by Andrew Koslosky KGCHS, Contributing Writer
We here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are looking forward to the upcoming year, where we will be continuing with millions of Catholics across the country in year two of The National Eucharistic Revival.
There will be thousands joining us along the Gulf Coast in the Summer of 2024.
With this in mind, I thought I would try to give everyone an overall perspective and plan for this so badly needed historic event.
What is the National Eucharistic Revival?
The National Eucharistic Revival is a three-year initiative, started by the U.S. Bishops that looks to inspire, educate, and unite our people in a more intimate relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist and to reconsecrate the heart of our nation.
The goal is to create a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist — and then sent out in mission ‘for the life of the world.’”
For years, studies have shown that Catholics misunderstand the meaning of the Eucharist, seeing it as a mere symbol and not the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
In fact, the estimates showed as many as 85% believed this. As the Eucharist is Jesus’ abiding presence in our lives, as the source and summit of our faith, we needed to find a way to bring Jesus to the center of our worship.
This Eucharistic Revival is the tool being used to do so. The first year of the revival focused on Diocesan renewal. Individual dioceses across the country offered events this past year, to promote and inspire understanding of the Eucharist.
It focused on diocesan renewal through bishops, formation of diocesan teams, priests and base work to support parishes. The second year of the revival, which we are now in, is dedicated to encouraging eucharistic devotion at the parish level…in general, a parish and community renewal of sorts.
The Bishops have encouraged the ordained in our communities to preach on the revival. They have formed Parish Eucharistic Revival Teams which have focused on education, expanding opportunities for Adoration, creating focus groups, and planning various other events that bring the com- munity closer to the Eucharist.
The second year will culminate with two major events. In June of 2024, we expect millions to participate in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage beginning from each corner of the country and ending in Indianapolis for the National Eucharistic Congress July 17–21.
Our Parish teams are prepping for the one-week period, beginning June 9, when the Pilgrimage will be visiting select Parishes along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
What is the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage?
The pilgrimage is modeled after the road to Emmaus and is an invitation for all to encounter the risen Christ on the journey and in the breaking of the bread before being sent on a mission into their local communities to spread the news.
It will begin during the feast of Pentecost, May 17–19, 2024, from four origin points: San Francisco, Ca. in the west; Bemidji, Minnesota, from the north; New Haven, Connecticut, from the east; and Brownsville, Texas, from the south.
All will be invited to join in portions of the pilgrimage and to walk with the eucharistic Jesus across the nation. Of note, four dozen full- time pilgrims from each corner of the U.S. will make the entire journey.
These full-time pilgrims will be young Catholics be- tween the ages of 19 and 29. Our section of the country is part of the “Juan Diego Route” beginning in Brownsville, Texas, at the U.S.-Mexico border. It will follow the Texas’ eastern border through Corpus Christi and Houston, and continue through New Orleans, Louisiana; Biloxi, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; and Louisville, Kentucky; on its way to the National Eucha- ristic Congress in Indianapolis, Indiana for the historic event.
What is the National Eucharistic Congress?
This will be a historic occasion for our Nation and for all Catholics. We are expecting in excess of 100,000 people in Indianapolis by way of the pilgrimages.
The Eucharistic Congress will prepare and equip the faithful to be Eucharistic Missionaries. It will be a tool that will allow the Holy Spirit to light the missionary fire of our nation.
It is a five-day event of prayers, speakers, and liturgical celebrations, and no doubt the highlight of the three-year National Eucharistic Revival campaign.
The National Eucharistic Congress will be the first one in the United States of America in almost eighty-three years.
The third and final year of the National Eucharistic Revival, following the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress, will be dedicated to the Church, lit by the Holy Spirit, going out on mission to renew the whole world.
How badly does this divided world we live in today need this movement?
The Diocesan Team and Local Teams have been meeting for months to make preparations and will soon release an official schedule to keep our communities informed of the eucharistic events. I encourage you to visit the National Eucharistic Revival Web Page National Eucharistic Revival:
A Grassroots Response to God’s Invitation and to make contact with your local Parish Eucharistic Revival Teams within our communities, ask questions and join the pilgrimage and possibly the Congress in Indianapolis.
The movement, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the tool that will save the soul of our Nation. Peace and Blessings…