Members of the team working on the bishops' three-year initiative for the Eucharistic Revival were "warmly received" by Pope Francis on June 19 and were grateful to have had "an encounter with him." "It was a privilege to experience his love and passion for the Eucharist," noted Msgr. Andrew Cozzens, chairman of the U.S. bishops' advisory group for the National Eucharistic Congress and Renaissance.
The second year of the Eucharistic Revival began on the Feast of Corpus Christi and is dedicated to promoting Eucharistic devotion at the parish level, and next year, in the summer of 2024, the Revival will focus on pilgrimages nationwide to the first Eucharistic Congress of America in 83 years.
His Holiness blessed the monstrance that will hold the ten-inch consecrated host. "It's a four-foot-tall monstrance," Bishop Cozzens boasted. The event will take place in July 2024 at the 75,000-seat Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and "we want everyone to see the monstrance," Bishop Cozzens said.
Experiencing the Eucharist
Pope Francis commented on its size and beauty and said, "Everyone is called to the sacrifice of the lamb, but not everyone knows they are called, and it is our job to tell them..."
The National Eucharistic Revival hopes to empower, inspire and educate the faithful and bring them closer to Jesus in the Eucharist. At the meeting, Pope Francis spoke of the need for people to "experience" the Eucharist, which is "God's answer to the deepest hunger of the human heart, the hunger for authentic life." He also expressed sadness that many do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and said, "The National Eucharistic Congress marks a significant moment in the life of the Catholic Church in the United States."
Bishop Cozzens said they hope people will understand that "it is Jesus' great desire that people come and receive Him in the Eucharist and unite with Him and worship Him in the Eucharist" and called the upcoming Congress a "generational moment."