On June 11, 2023, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in the United States, the second phase of the initiative began. National Eucharistic Revivala three-year program promoted by the North American bishops to foster understanding of the mystery of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and to rekindle devotion and love for this central Mystery of faith.
This project arose in 2019 from a study conducted by the Pew Research Center which revealed that two-thirds of American Catholics do not understand the mystery of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. For them, the Eucharist is only a "sign" or a "symbol". This massive ignorance prompted the bishops to initiate the National Eucharistic Renaissance, 2022-2025.
Objectives and phases
The objectives of this initiative are, among others: to promote Eucharistic devotion; to offer a solid catechesis on the Mystery of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist; to promote prayer movements and apostolates at the parish level; and to discover the presence of Jesus in the most vulnerable of the communities: the elderly, the imprisoned, the hungry and the homeless.
It has three phases: diocesan phase, parish phase and mission phase, preceded by the 10th National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024 and a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage from May 17, 2024 to July 17. This pilgrimage will depart from four points in the country to travel four routes, covering a combined distance of 6,500 miles through cities, highways, mountain ranges and towns. Each route will have a group of twelve "perpetual pilgrims," a priest chaplain, and vehicles to support the pilgrims on different routes.
During the tour, there will be Masses, days of adoration and processions in the towns along the route. In addition, various communities through which the procession passes will organize prayer and worship services, the 40-hour devotion, as well as socializing opportunities. All four routes converge in Indianapolis for the National Eucharistic Congress.
The first stage of the project began on June 19, 2022 and concluded on June 11, 2023. The organization of this period corresponded to the dioceses throughout the country, which organized congresses, processions, liturgical ceremonies and catechesis in their respective jurisdictions.
Second stage (2023-2024): Parishes
The second stage began on June 11, 2023 and will conclude on July 17, 2024 with the 10th National Eucharistic Congress in the city of Indianapolis. It will be a historic event. The last one was held 83 years ago and 100,000 delegates from all over the country are expected to attend.
The second stage comprises four aspects: revitalizing attention to the Ars Celebrandi; promoting personal encounters with Jesus in the Sacrament through "evenings of encounter"; providing a solid formation on the doctrine of the Real Presence through small study groups; sending Eucharistic missionaries to their communities to make the initiative known and invite people to have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ-Eucharist; going to the peripheries of each parish community to discover the presence of Jesus in the most vulnerable.
Eucharistic Processions from north to south
Hundreds of parishes across the country began this second stage with Eucharistic processions through the streets of their cities. Jesus in the Sacrament walked the avenues of the main cities of the United States, from Los Angeles to New York, from Washington to Atlanta and even in Alaska. Some of the most representative processions were the following:
Los Angeles: Eucharistic Miracles in the World
In Los Angeles, in the parish of Christ the King, after the celebration of Holy Mass, a procession with the Blessed Sacrament was held, followed by the inauguration of the international exhibition "Eucharistic Miracles in the World", designed and created by the Servant of God Carlo Acutis.
The exhibition includes panels with photographs and historical descriptions of the main Eucharistic miracles in the world. This exhibit will be presented in 25 parishes of the archdiocese.
Baltimore. Sending Eucharistic Missionaries
In Baltimore, Bishops Adam Parker and Bruce Lewandowski presided at the Corpus Christi Vigil Mass at Mary Our Queen Cathedral on June 10. At this ceremony they introduced and blessed the Eucharistic missionaries who will go around the parishes of the diocese teaching and promoting the central mystery of our faith.
New York City
In the Archdiocese of New York, about 20 churches, including the St. Patrick's Cathedral organized processions in different parts of Manhattan. In the Bronx, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Espaillat led a procession that lasted four hours and gathered more than two thousand people along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
In the capital of the country, the Eucharistic procession began at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle and traveled a mile through the streets of the city until it reached the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, a dozen parishes organized Eucharistic processions through the streets of several cities, including Atlanta, its capital.
In the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, a procession was held from Sacred Heart Cathedral to Immaculate Conception Church.