6 Things You May Not Know About A Eucharistic Congress in the Catholic Church
Written by catholicradio on November 1, 2023
1. A Eucharistic Congress Is the Act of Catholic Clergy, Religious, and Laypeople Gathering Together To Focus On Jesus In the Eucharist.
“Eucharist” comes from the Greek word eucharista, meaning “thanksgiving”. For Catholics, Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus in the appearance of consecrated bread and wine. “Congress” refers to the act of people gathering in a meeting.
The first Eucharistic Congress occurred in France in 1881. Since then, they have been in other cities, nations, and even internationally. In 1926, the first national Eucharistic Congress held in Chicago. Learn more about the history of Eucharistic Congresses at Catholic Answers and Aleteia.
2. The Purpose of a Eucharistic Congress Is To Celebrate and Glorify Jesus In the Eucharist.
Recognizing the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a principal dogma of our Catholic faith. The Eucharist is not just a symbol or reminder of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is not just a commemoration of the Last Supper where the apostles gathered as a community. It is more.
Eucharist is Jesus, Himself, Who comes to each of us personally. A Eucharistic Congress spreads knowledge and love of the Real Presence throughout the world.
3. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Initiated a National Three-Year Revival Leading To a National Eucharistic Congress in 2024.
On November 17, 2021 the USCCB voted to launch a spiritual revival centering on the Eucharist. This mission to renew the Catholic Church in the United States includes:
- Developing materials to teach the faithful about the Eucharist.
- Training for diocesan and parish leaders.
- Launching a website dedicated to this three-year initiative.
- Deploying a team of 50 priests who are commissioned to travel the nation, enkindling the flame of Eucharistic faith and devotion through their preaching.
4. The Mission and Vision Of the National Eucharistic Revival Is Particular To This Time In the Catholic Church and America.
Today the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Eucharist is either misunderstood or regarded as unimportant. In addition, there has been scandal in the Church along with difficulties associated with disease in our world and division in our nation. How are we to respond?
Jesus is present with us always. The mission of this Eucharistic Revival is, “To renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.”
The vision is, “To inspire a movement of Catholics across the United States who are healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and who are then sent out on mission ‘for the life of the world.’”
5. The U.S. Catholic Church Is In the Middle Of the Three-Year Timeline Planned By the USCCB.
In all relationships, the element of time is a necessity. Developing a personal relationship with Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is no different. The website launched for Eucharistic Revival states:
the National Eucharistic Revival allows three years for discernment, encounter, and grassroots response on the diocesan, parish, and individual levels.
The USCCB timeline includes:
- Feast of Corpus Christi (the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ). On June 19, 2022, this national response to our times was launched with Eucharistic processions and Adoration.
- Year of Diocesan Revival. From June 19, 2022 through June 11, 2023, bishops, priests, and diocesan staff were invited to respond to our Lord’s invitation and create a plan. The heart of this time was prayer and fasting, asking our Lord to revive His Church.
- Year of Parish Revival. June 11, 2023 began the outreach to people in the pews. The goal is to foster Eucharistic devotion. Parishes will seek to answer this call through guidance from the Holy Spirit by strengthening liturgical life through the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, parish missions, preaching, and other resources. The year will conclude on July 17, 2024.
- National Eucharistic Pilgrimage. Occurring during the Year of Parish Revival is an opportunity to participate in one of the largest Eucharistic Pilgrimages in history. Just as crowds followed Jesus when He was on earth, Jesus in the Sacred Host will be reverently processed over 6,500 miles through cities, through towns, and along highways. The destination: Indianapolis, Indiana to the 10th National Eucharistic Congress.
- National Eucharistic Congress. July 17 through July 21, 2024 will be a historic gathering. Catholics from parishes across the nation will gather to reconsecrate their hearts to Jesus in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the Source and Summit of our faith.
- The Roman Catholic Church’s Jubilee Year In 2025. The National Eucharistic Revival was planned to prepare the hearts of the faithful for a jubilee year in the universal church. The Year of Going Out On Mission begins July 21, 2024 and ends on Pentecost 2025.
6. Catholic Resources Are Available To Help Foster A Deeper Friendship With Jesus In the Eucharist.
In addition, you can search your diocesan website for more information, special events, and speakers that may be in your area. You may find The Archdiocese of Denver’s Resources page to be helpful as well.
The Holy Trinity is with us always. Here at Catholic Radio Network you will find a constant companion to assist you in your spiritual growth. Our programs strive to be a light in the darkness to share the joy of Christ.
We invite you to listen and be fortified in your preparation for revival and the National Eucharistic Congress. Even if you cannot attend in person, deepening your relationship with Jesus will bring you peace and hope. You can listen online, find your local station, or download our free app for Apple and Android.